What to do when Pipes Freeze & How to Prevent It From Happening Again
When water freezes it expands. When the water in your home’s pipes freeze, the expansion creates pressure, which can lead to the pipe(s) cracking and breaking. The main causes for freezing pipes are quick temperature drops, a thermostat set too low, and insufficient insulation. To learn how to prevent pipes from freezing, it’s best to start with determining which pipes are more likely to freeze.
Pipes that Freeze
In general, the pipes that typically freeze during winter are the ones exposed to extreme cold. These may include any outdoor water pipes like water sprinkler lines and swimming pool supply lines. It also includes the water pipes located in unheated areas of the home. Pipes in unheated basements, attics, garages, crawl spaces and even under the kitchen or bathroom sink are at risk for freezing. If your home has pipes that run along exterior walls with insufficient or no insulation, these pipes also are at risk for freezing in winter.
How to Prevent Freezing Pipes
Before the cold hits, there are several things you can do to help prevent pipes from freezing.
- Make sure the attic, basement and crawl space are adequately insulated.
- Seal any leaks in the attic, basement or crawl space.
- Seal leaking windows and any areas of the attached garage that have cold air leakage issues.
- Wrap pipes at risk for freezing with heat tape. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and only use products approved by an independent testing facility.
- Use heat sleeves to insulate pipes if preferred.
- Detach any garden hoses from outside faucets connected to the home. Shut off and drain the water from any pipes that lead to outside faucets, not in use for the winter season.
- Sheets of foam board work well to insulate large areas, especially in crawl spaces or garages if the insulation only needs to be temporary for the season.
When the temperatures drop it’s time to take additional action for preventing pipes from freezing.
- Maintain a consistent thermostat setting.
The Red Cross recommends keeping the thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night to help maintain a consistent heat level and reduce the risk of freezing pipes.
- Don’t drop the thermostat setting below 55-degrees Fahrenheit in cold weather.
- Keep garage doors closed when not in use, especially if there are any water lines in the garage or on walls adjacent to the garage.
- Let the water drip from a leaky faucet; even slow, even drips provide relief from pressure.
- Leave cabinet doors open at kitchen and bathroom sinks during extreme cold spells to allow the home’s warm air to circulate around the pipe. Be sure to remove anything harmful to children and pets while the doors are open.
When Pipes Freeze
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, 37 percent of all frozen pipe failures happen in the basement. If you suspect a pipe is frozen and it hasn’t cracked, there’s a chance you can thaw it using the warm air from a hairdryer. Never use an open flame or blow torch as this is dangerous and a potential fire hazard.
Water damage often occurs when a pipe freezes and cracks. To minimize the damage, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve and call the professionals to extract dry and complete the cleanup. When it comes to the cleanup and what to do when pipes freeze, the experts at ServiceMaster by Fuson are there to help restore your home from water damage.
EMERGENCY SERVICE AVAILABLE 24/7 (855) 813-6959
WE OFFER A WIDE ARRAY OF SERVICES
Click on the image below to find out more about the service
Fire & Smoke Damage
Water & Flood Damage
Post Construction Clean Up
Frozen & Burst Pipe Clean Up
Senior Packing Services
Hoarding Clean Up
Tarp Over & Board Up
Emergency Service Plans
“Service Master has been fantastic through my fire loss. Their communication was outstanding. Stefani really stood out the most, her honesty and integrity absolutely blew my mind. My loss was months ago and she still communicated with me and helped me with every question I had following my loss. I would recommend Service Master to anyone. Their work and staff are beyond superior.”
“Bill and Roy just came a cleaned the carpets at the home I am buying. The carpets are almost 26 years old, so I had no expectations for them to be perfect. It sure turned out better than I even thought. The guys were friendly and did a great job despite being the last job of the day. They also cleaned my rugs for free! I got a great service at a good rate thanks to Bill and Roy at ServiceMaster.”
” Service Master dried out and replaced my elderly mother’s wood kitchen flooring after water damage. They came quickly, were readily available for consultation, professional and the replacement wood floor is beautiful. I would highly recommend them. The whole team from start to finish did an excellent job. “
” We needed a shower floor rebuilt and waterproofed due to leaking, so we hired Servicemaster to fix it. Troy showed up on time
“A close friend and customer of mine called me two weeks prior to Christmas. They had just pulled out their decorations in the basements and began their decorating ritual. Two days later when resuming this activity they went into their basement to find boxes floating in