How to Prevent Frozen Pipes (And Fix Them If They Do Freeze)

How to prevent frozen pipes at home

The winter weather in Northeastern Indiana can be frightful, as freezing temperatures can make you and your family want to stay inside and avoid the cold altogether.

But while you’re trying to stay warm, certain areas of your home may still be exposed to the adverse effects of the elements, including your pipes. This is especially true in older homes with poor insulation.

No matter where you live, a burst pipe can be disastrous to your home. That’s why when temperatures hit 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below, it’s essential to know how to keep your pipes from freezing.

 

HOW TO PREVENT FROZEN PIPES

There are a number of ways you can keep your pipes from freezing in the winter. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to add insulation to the areas of your home that are more easily exposed to the cold: attics, crawl spaces, garages and even basements. In particular, you’ll want to focus on those areas of your home with pipes, but the warmer your home is overall, the better.

This is best to have done in the summer or fall before temperatures drop, but if it’s already cold outside and there’s no time to have new insulation installed, don’t panic. There are several tricks you can utilize in order to prevent your pipes from freezing.

  • Open all the doors to your bathrooms, laundry room and basement (assuming you have pipes down there) to increase the areas where warm can circulate in your home.
  • Allow sinks and faucets (especially those connected to exterior walls) to drip because stagnant water has a higher chance of freezing.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep your home well heated during the day and at night, when outside temperatures in the winter tend to be even lower. A good temperature range in the wintertime is 66 – 68 degrees, especially during times when nobody is home or when you and your family are sleeping.

 

HOW TO MINIMIZE THE DAMAGE OF FROZEN PIPES

If you realize your pipes are frozen, the first thing you should do is leave the nearest faucet open, even if only a trickle of water is coming out.

Next, you’ll want to put some sort of heating device near the impacted area, whether that be an electric heating pad directly on the pipes or space heater situated as close to them as possible. However, the American Red Cross advises that you do not use a kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or any other device with an open flame.

If you don’t have a heating device, you can also soak warm towels with hot water in another area of your home and then wrap them around the frozen pipes. As the towels get cold, you will have to replace them with freshly soaked warm towels until the pipes are no longer frozen.

If you do this, there’s a solid chance you will keep a pipe from leaking or bursting, which can cause serious damage to your home — even if the water is mostly contained in your basement.

DAMAGE THAT CAN BE CAUSED BY FROZEN/BURST PIPES

When pipes freeze, the water in them expands and can cause the pipe to leak or even burst. If a bathroom or pipe begins to leak, you’ll want to shut off the water to that pipe and call a plumber.

A burst pipe can be serious, especially if it happens without you realizing it at first. This can cause significant wear and tear to your walls, collapsed floors and ceilings or worse. If a pipe bursts, you’ll want to turn off the main water supply as quickly as possible and get on the phone with professionals to repair the damage done to your pipes and the interior of your home. The faster you act, the better. It’s also worth noting that standing water in your home can lead to health problems for you and your family, as it can cause electric shock and illnesses such as waterborne pathogens and mold.


GET IN TOUCH WITH PROFESSIONALS WHO CAN HELP

Are you worried about your pipes? Did a pipe burst? Our professionals here at Paul Davis Restoration are here to help you.   Call  260-436-7510 to speak with someone who has the experience and knowledge you need to protect and fix your home.