How do I prevent my pipes from freezing this winter?
WHEN THE TEMPERATURES BEGIN TO PLUMMET, THE RISK OF YOUR PIPES FREEZING AND/OR BUSTING INCREASES DRASTICALLY.
During the winter months, busted pipes from freezing are one of the most common causes of property damages homeowners and business-owners alike face. Frozen and busted pipes can cost many East Texans thousands of dollars in water damages for water mitigation service, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. For many homeowners, rest assured that if you are insured, your insurance company is likely to cover costs associated with water damage for water mitigation services. It’s always wise to check with your current provider on the coverage you have, and what they offer in case you are one unlucky this winter season.
WHAT PIPES ARE MOST AT RISK FOR FREEZING AND BUSTING?
Pipes located in places such as your crawl spaces, basements, attics, garages, and exterior walls are most at risk. However, that doesn’t mean that pipes running inside of your home do not face a risk of freezing or busting. At 1st Call Restoration, we have a few simple tips to keep your water running, your home dry, and your family comfortable all winter long.
Please note that advise provided is based off of both the IBHS and the American Red Cross, who are in the business of emergency preparedness. This advise has proven useful and factual on how you can prevent your pipes from freezing or busting in your East Texas home this winter. As well as how to thaw them if they do face a freeze.
TIP’S ON HOW TO PREVENT YOUR PIPES FROM FREEZING THIS WINTER:
1. Keep your garage doors closed at all times unless in immediate use. Especially if you have water supply lines located in this area of your home.
2. Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors. This allows warm air from within your home to circulate around the plumbing underneath your fixtures. If your sinks or other plumbing face an exterior wall, this step is especially important to prevent freezing pipes. If you have small children within your home, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners from their reach. Do not leave them underneath and opened and unsecured sink.
3. Let cold water drip from your faucets. While many homeowners use this step as the most practiced step to prevent freezing pipes, some may not know why this is recommended. When you provide running water through your pipes, even at just a slow trickle, the constant flow of water will aid you in pipe freezing prevention.
4. Keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy
recommends keeping your home thermostat set to 68°F during the winter months. This is not only to conserve energy (lowering your overall heating bill monthly), but also to keep your homes internal temperature at a comfortable, and pipe friendly temperature. If you plan to leave, or are trying to prepare a vacation home. It is recommended that you set your thermostat to no lower than 55°F to prevent frozen pipes.
5. Adding insulation to your attics, basement, and crawl spaces will also help many homeowners and business owners maintain a higher temperature within those areas. Sealing spaces with drafts such as openings around your windows, doors, and places that the home rests on it’s foundation.
6. Keep your interior doors open throughout your home. Keeping your interior doors open throughout your home will allow the warm air from your furnace to circulate freely from room to room, keeping your home at a comfortable, and consistent temperature. This step goes hand in hand with step #4 above.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY PIPES DO FREEZE?
Once the freeze is over, and you turn on your faucet, if only a small trickle comes out, you very well may have a frozen pipe! If you suspect this be careful when trying to thaw them out. If the pipe has already burst, the water will begin to flow out from the busted pipe, flooding the interior of your home.
If a pipe has frozen and busted;
Turn off your water at the main shutoff valve. This water valve is usually found neat your water meter or where your main line enters your home.
If your water is still running, and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps;
If you suspect there to be a more serious problem, or for a formal diagnosis of your plumbing and other lines, we recommend calling a professional plumber to assist you.
1. Turn on your faucet. Once you begin to heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug melts, you will see the water flow through. Running water through your pipes will help the ice melt within the pipe.
2. Apply heat to the pipe. We recommend using items such as a warm towel, an electric heating pad, a hair dryer, or a portable space heater (without an open flame) near the piping. Never use items such as a blowtorch, propane or kerosene heaters, or any other source with an open flame. High heat such as the ones listed above can cause further damage to your plumbing, and can even start a fire within your home.
3. Check other faucets and piping located within your home to see if any other are frozen. If one has frozen, it’s highly probable that others may have frozen as well.
If you home has began to flood due to a busted pipe, give our team here at 1st Call Restoration a call. We are open 24/7 for emergency service to provide water mitigation services to all of our East Texas residents and business-owners. (903) 287-6400 – Here to Restore Peace of Mind!