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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Frozen Pipe Tips and Tricks

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

This is a photo of a busted pipe A busted pipe from water freezing and unfreezing

Our long, cold, and dreary winter months lead to many emergency water losses caused by frozen pipes that burst. Generally, for your home's water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees, for a total of at least six consecutive hours. The following are some helpful tips to help combat the cold this winter:

  • Insulate your pipes – Buy some pipe sleeves, UL-listed heat tape or a heat cable, and insulate the pipes in the unheated areas in your home (attic, basement, crawl space, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets).
  • Keep faucets dripping (just barely) – This tip is only for the coldest of nights! Dripping faucets keep the water in your pipes moving, which prevent your pipes from bursting if they do become frozen.
  • Provide an extra power supply – If your power goes out on a cold night, the chances of your pipes freezing rises significantly. Buy a reliable backup power source, like a generator, to ensure continuous power to your home.
  • Keep your garage door closed – This will keep more of your home’s heat inside and help prevent any exposed pipes from freezing.
  • leaving cabinet doors open at night to allow the heat to reach the pipes inside the home you can but you don't need it. 

Step 1) Turn on your water faucets. When you start thawing your pipes, your faucets will leak water, letting you know that you have found the frozen pipes and are melting the ice. Also, moving water speeds up thawing process.

Step 2) Find the frozen pipes. They are usually in an outside wall, under a sink or in an unheated crawl space.

Step 3) Safely apply heat to the frozen pipes. A few ways to safely heat frozen pipes include using:

  • Electric heat pads
  • Electric hair dryers
  • Portable space heater
  • Towels soaked in hot water

Whatever you do, DO NOT use a blowtorch or anything that projects an open flame to thaw the pipes.

The certified water restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Limestone and Lawrence Counties are here to help you with all your emergency water damage needs. Call 256-233-4033 and speak with a trained professional who can help!

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