We’re all accustomed to those tumultuous New England winters which often lead to freezing pipes. When pipes freeze, they typically burst and then you’re stuck with water damage. It’s best to take preventative measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
There are some pipes that are prone to freezing such as exposed pipes in unheated areas, pipes situated near exterior walls and plumbing on the exterior of the house. Pipes located in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space and attic are at the greatest risk of freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Avoid using antifreeze when draining water from the pool or water sprinkler supply line
- Seal air leaks near the pipes.
- Let warmer air circulate near the plumbing by opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors.
- Make sure the heat is at 55 degrees or higher when you leave the home.
- If you are going to be away from your house for an extended period of time, keep the heat on and drain the water system beforehand.
- If the water supply is in the garage, disconnect outdoor hoses.
- Know where the shut-off valves are so you can be prepared to stop water flow if a pipe bursts.
Are Frozen Pipes Really a Big Deal?
Metal and plastic pipes burst because they expand when the water freezes. Again, this leads to major water damage. Not only is this a costly experience but your house is a mess and you won’t have running water.
What Do I Do if the Pipes are Frozen?
Position a space heater near the wall or a blow dryer. Of course, if there is water on the ground, avoid using anything electric.
Turn on the faucet so melted water can leave the pipe. Using hot water creates steam to defrost pipes.
Insert a garden hose through the pipe and for smaller pipes try a coat hanger.
Test the shut-off valve so water doesn’t pour out of the pipe when it’s thawed. Make sure heat is slowly applied.
If you’re struggling with frozen pipes, contact Winters® Home Services at (617) 977-3101.