Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze and What to do if They do

A very important cost saving measure has to do with frozen pipes and making sure they are not an issue in colder climates where they can do devastating damage to homes. Preventative measures are the most important to keep from pipes bursting. Fast action is required if the unthinkable event occurs of freezing pipes bursting. Freezing pipes may not necessarily burst, but with freezing pipes they may come with a considerable amount of buildup from the expansion of the frozen water. Small leaks at serious breaking points can create a huge opening and bursting pipe. Water damage resulting from a burst pipe is one of the most common home insurance claims and we here are trying to limit these claims as much as we can.

Pipes need to be evaluated from time to time for the potential frozen or bursting pipe. Bulging pipe or pipe with frost on the outside is a telltale sign of freezing. Many pipes are in locations that are much harder to see and identify, however. Un-flushable toilets or sink are an obvious sign of pipes that are frozen.

The next step after identifying a frozen pipe is to be able to thaw out the pipe before it becomes a major issue. Turn off the water feeding a pipe or shut off the system of water to the entire house if it is so required. After a thawing be prepared for any leaks that may be realized with a mop bucket or towel. Heat lamps, space heaters, and thermostatic tape can do the job of thawing pipes to the best ability. Fire risk may be prevalent with a propane torch, so don’t take the risk with using one.

Say you take precautions or don’t and the unthinkable happens and a pipe bursts here are some steps that you will want to take immediately to stall what could be a home destroying occurrence. Of course, it doesn’t need to be such and now you will be prepared for this occasion. As quickly as you can, and not panic, shut of your whole water supply in your home. Then call us immediately after because you likely won’t have the proper tools or preparation for taking care of a large flooding in your home. Dry the water any way that you are able if you are able with a wet/dry vacuum, a mop, or sponges. These tried and true drying instruments will prevent mold and mildew from occurring in your home. Finally, get a dehumidifier to completely dry out a room until it is bone dry. As dry as you can possibly get it without the need for sand or a cactus planting in your living room.

As needs not be stated it seems, be prepared to know where your emergency shut off valve for the water supply in your house so that you’ll know exactly where to go when calamity strikes. Make sure your water shut off valve has been properly inspected by a plumber and it may be in your best interest to have it replaced with a newer ball valve that can save you exorbitant amounts of money in the future. Go to your valve at least once a year to turn your valve and make sure it is functioning properly and loose and ready when it is needed. Thank you to HGTV and Douglas Trattner for his article titled “How to Unfreeze Pipes & Prevent Damage”.

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