As the temperatures begin to drop, the freezing temperatures can take a toll on your home in a variety of ways. As a matter of fact, one of the most common and most costly causes of property damage during cold weather are frozen pipes according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Adding insult to injury, it’s not uncommon for this damage to cost or exceed $5,000. Fortunately, there are several preventative steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing in the winter. Total Restore Inc. wants to arm you with the information you need to keep your home safe from frozen pipes. In the event that your property does suffer frozen pipe damage, we’re standing by to provide your home with expert care and attention.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Before the temperature starts to drop, there are numerous ways you can “beat the freeze” and protect your home from frozen pipe damage. Although it may seem obvious, the areas which are most susceptible to damage are where uninsulated pipes run through an uninsulated space. Some of this advice may conflict with your desire to conserve energy and heat, but the added expense is insignificant compared to a hefty damage repair bill.
- Drip Cold Water from Your Faucet – Especially important if the faucet is served by exposed pipes, letting cold water drip prevents the pipes from freezing.
- Close Garage Doors – If your garage has water supply lines inside of it, making sure that the garage door remains closed is a good way to keep the temperature warm enough to prevent freezing.
- Open Cabinet Doors in Your Kitchen or Bathroom – Keeping these cabinet doors open allows warmer air to circulate around the pipes which is extremely helpful if your sinks are on an exterior wall. It’s important to remember to REMOVE any harmful chemicals or cleaners if you have small children or pets in the house.
- Keep Your Thermostat Temperature Constant – When the temperatures drop below freezing, keep your thermostat set to a constant temperature both day and night. Freezing temperatures are the worst times to try and save on your energy bill since the colder temperatures can put your plumbing and pipes at risk of freezing.
- Leave Heat on When Traveling – Going out of town for a few days? Make sure that your heat is set to a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re gone to prevent frozen pipes.
- Long Term Insulation – Adding insulation to your attic, basement, and crawl spaces helps your home maintain higher temperatures in those areas. You can also seal cracks and openings around your doors and windows to prevent drafts. This insulation is also a great way to help your home stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, providing benefits year-round.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
The most common indication that you may have a frozen pipe is when you turn on your faucet and only a trickle comes out. It’s important to use caution when you notice an issue with your plumbing as water can start to flood your home if the pipe has burst (follow these steps to: learn how to unfreeze your pipes). If your water is still running, here are a few small steps you can take to evaluate the situation yourself. Call the experts at Total Restore Inc. and let us inspect your home for potential damage before making things worse.
- Run the Faucet – Running the faucet can help melt any frozen water in your pipe to hopefully restore full flow. If the flow improves, you may have gotten lucky and not had a pipe burst. Remember to use caution.
- Apply a Small Amount of Heat – If you’ve inspected your pipe and it shows no signs of bursting or damage, you can apply a small amount of heat to help melt any frozen water inside. Wrapping the pipe in towels soaked in hot water is a possible solution. Do NOT add heat in the form of an open flame to the pipe. This heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire. Again, use caution.
- Call Total Restore Inc. – In order to assess the situation and prevent further damage, let the professional team at Total Restore Inc. inspect your home for frozen pipe damage or burst pipes. Our team has the expertise along with the latest equipment to determine the extent of the damage. We’re here to help get your life and your home back to the way it was before the damage occurred.