Frozen Pipes: How to Prevent Flood Damage to Your Home
December 11, 2023
Frozen pipes are a common problem in winter as temperatures drop below freezing. That’s because as the water in your pipes freezes, it also expands. This puts pressure on your pipes and causes them to split or break, resulting in a flood of water being released into your home when the pipes thaw.
Take the following steps to protect your pipes from freezing:
Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and faucets.
Take time to disconnect, drain, and store garden hoses if you haven’t done this already. Close any inside valves that supply outdoor hose bibs, and drain water from outside hose bibs.
Check your attic, basement, and crawl space insulation.
Make sure you have adequate levels of insulation in your attic, basement, and crawl space. This will help your home stay warmer as it keeps your heated air inside your home and traps colder air outside.
Seal any air leaks.
Check for air leaks around areas such as dryer vents and electrical wiring. If you detect any, seal them with caulk or insulation to keep cold outside air from entering your home.
Insulate exposed spigots and pipes.
Installing pipe sleeves, strips of fiberglass insulation, UL-listed heat tape, or other insulating products is an easy and inexpensive project. This helps protect your exposed pipes and makes them less likely to freeze.
Let cold water drip.
When temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, keep water on at a trickle for faucets that are served by exposed pipes. Leave the water lightly flowing overnight, and your pipes will be less likely to freeze.
Keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open.
Uninsulated pipes underneath your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors can be warmed by leaving these doors open and letting the heat that’s in your home circulate around them. If you have kids or pets, remove any harmful products and store them elsewhere while these doors are open.
Keep your thermostat setting consistent.
When temperatures are below freezing, keep your thermostat at the same setting day and night to help prevent frozen pipes. This can also reduce strain on your heating system when it’s very cold.
What to do if your pipes freeze:
If your pipes do freeze, they may not always burst. You can tell if they’re frozen by turning on your faucets. If nothing comes out or if your water comes out only in drops or a trickle, your pipes are probably frozen.
To unfreeze them, make sure you’re not in standing water, which could be hazardous. Keep the water running, and use a hair dryer to direct air close to the faucet end of the pipe, slowly moving toward the coldest section. Keep going until your regular water pressure resumes as well as a few minutes more. And if you detect one frozen pipe, check for others that may have frozen as well.
What to do if your pipes burst:
If your pipes burst, shut off your water as quickly as you can. For safety reasons, you should also shut off power to any areas of your home that are wet.
Then call DRYmedic at (248) 278-1261 for help. We respond 24/7, and our friendly and knowledgeable team will use our advanced technologies and processes to get you back on track after your pipes burst. We'll remove the water, repair or replace affected items, and even perform mold removal services if you have mold growth due to your pipes bursting.