Frozen Pipes: Prevention, Thawing & Repairs
Wintertime in the Michiana area can produce some very harsh weather conditions and subzero temperatures which can wreak havoc on your home’s water pipes if the proper measures are not taken. Monroe Restoration has restored countless properties that have sustained damage due to frozen pipes, so we have created this resource for property owner’s containing very valuable information on preventing frozen pipes, thawing pipes that are already frozen, and what to do if your frozen pipes burst and cause damage to your home or business.
How to Prevent a Frozen Pipe: Insulation and Tips
It is best to start winterizing in the fall before the temperatures dip drastically. Water pipes should be examined to make sure they are well insulated. Pipes may run in your basement, attic or crawlspace. Any exposed metal piping is susceptible to freezing, especially the closer it is to the outdoors. Fiberglass insulation is an excellent option for insulating pipes and can be found at your local home repair store.
Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes:
- Never leave home for an extended period of time with your heat turned off. Turning off the heat may save you money on your home heating bill, but you’ll be putting your home in serious risk of frozen pipes.
- Turn on faucets and let the water trickle. This will release the pressure inside the pipes because moving water has a much lower risk of freezing. Make sure to turn on cold and warm water simultaneously.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Leaving the cabinets open will let the warm air reach the pipes in these areas.
Here is a video on preventing frozen pipes
How to Thaw your Frozen Pipes
During a cold snap or a snow storm, you may find that you no longer have running water. This would be a strong indicator that a section of the water piping is frozen. If you catch the frozen pipe early enough, you have a great chance of preventing a frozen water pipe burst-so act quickly!
For starters, you should turn on all water faucets in order to pinpoint which pipe or pipes are frozen, to alleviate pressure and to indicate when the water is running again. Next, find the frozen pipe in your basement, crawlspace, or attic. Once the frozen pipe has been located, you can wrap it in a towel, fastened down by duct tape. Then you can pour boiling hot water on the towel, repeating this cycle until the ice is thawed in the pipe. You could also use a heating blanket on the pipe or direct a heating lamp or hair dryer on the frozen pipe. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
How to Repair a Frozen Pipe Burst
The snow storm has passed, the temperature is rising again but now a new problem has presented itself. You come home to find soaked carpet or water dripping from the ceiling. If you were unable to thaw the frozen pipe in time, the ice expanded just enough to burst open the pipe and now the thawed ice is leaking through the pipe puncture. Once more the faster you react, the more property damage you can prevent.
As soon as you pinpoint the exact location of the pipe puncture, you would want to turn off the pipes source of water. Now that you know the damage spot you can put a rubber-lined sleeve clamp on it. If you do not have access to one, you can use a piece of rubber or hose to wrap around the damaged pipe, fastening it with duct tape. Now that you’ve managed to put a bandage over the gash, you will want to hire expert help in replacing the damaged pipe and restoring your property back to normal.
Depending on how long the water was leaking from the hole, you may have extensive damage to your property, such as: standing water, drywall on your ceiling and/or walls may be soaked, sagging, and crumbling, carpeting and padding may be saturated with water, hardwood flooring may be saturated and at risk of warping, etc. If the affected areas sustain moisture and water for a long period of time, your property becomes susceptible to mold growth. As evident, it is important to make sure a certified and experienced restoration company perform the drying and the restoration of the damaged property.
We’re Here to Help
For over 25 years, Monroe Restoration has been a leader in customer satisfaction in the cleaning and restoration industry. We pride ourselves on our team of highly trained and skilled professionals.
When fire, smoke, or water damage your home or business, speed is essential to minimize further damage. To restore your home or business to its pre-crisis condition – and avoid costly mistakes – it’s just as critical to select the most qualified professionals. As the leader in the restoration and cleaning services industry for more than 25 years, we are committed to maintaining the highest business, ethical, and quality standards.
So no matter what the emergency; water, sewage, fire or smoke damage, vandalism clean up, mold remediation and construction services, Monroe Restoration is ready to set your mind at ease with 24/7/365 service.