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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Thawing the Freeze: A Guide to Preventing and Dealing with Frozen Pipes

12/14/2023 (Permalink)

a frozen pipe faucet a frozen outdoor pipe faucet that has a leak

Thawing the Freeze: A Guide to Preventing and Dealing with Frozen Pipes

Meet the winter challenge head-on by safeguarding your property against frozen pipes and the potential damage they bring. As temperatures plummet, homes and businesses face the risk of leaks, flooding, and even mold. To ensure your water pipes stay functional and your property remains safe, here's a comprehensive guide:

Frozen Pipes: What You Should Know

Understanding the causes is the first step in prevention. Sudden temperature drops, poor insulation, and low thermostat settings contribute to frozen pipes. The vulnerability increases in pipes running alongside exterior walls, exposed to the elements, and those in unheated spaces.

Tips to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

  • Disconnect outside garden hoses and secure outdoor valves.
  • Ensure your basement is heated, cover crawl space air vents, and close windows near water pipes.
  • Let faucets drip slightly overnight, especially those on outside walls.
  • Insulate exposed pipes and use heating tape or pipe insulation.
  • Keep cabinets open to let heat reach plumbing, and install weather sealing around windows.
  • Regularly check and insulate pipes in unheated areas, like garages.
  • Never use antifreeze unless directed, as it can be hazardous.

Can You Thaw Frozen Pipes?

Discovering frozen pipes doesn't have to be a nightmare. Follow these steps:

  • Shut off the water supply via the main valve.
  • Open a faucet to encourage thawing, and apply heat using an electric heating pad, space heater, or hot towels.
  • Never use open flames or kerosene for thawing.
  • If in doubt or unable to thaw, call a licensed plumber.

Winter Vacation Tip: Check Your Pipes Before Heading Out

If you're escaping the cold for warmer climes, protect your home:

  • Shut off water supply and consider draining the system.
  • Keep the thermostat no lower than 55º Fahrenheit (12º Celsius).
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house regularly.

SERVPRO’s Water Damage Cleanup Process

Should water damage occur, SERVPRO®
Team Majeski is here to help with our eight-step restoration process:

  • Emergency Contact
  • Inspection and Water Damage Assessment
  • Water Removal
  • Damaged Material Removal
  • Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Deodorization
  • Drying
  • Monitoring
  • Repairs and Construction

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