Brrrrrr Charlotte… It’s Cold! Our area, as much of the country, is experiencing frigid temperatures and along with this cold comes the possibility of frozen pipes. This is not only a miserable inconvenience it can end up costing you a bunch of money too. When frozen pipes burst, either behind a wall or in a ceiling, you can expect water damage and expensive repairs. This is definitely a case where an ounce of prevention is your friend.
Below’s a list of things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Disconnect your garden hoses and place covers on your outdoor spigots.
Make sure you keep the temperature inside your home at 68 degrees or higher.
Open cabinet doors under your sinks so warm air can circulate around the pipes.
Wrap the pipes nearest your exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or heating tape.
Close all windows near water pipes. Also, cover or close open air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts increase the risk for pipes freezing.
Heat your basement
Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home
Monitor for Problems
Let your faucets drip lukewarm water to minimize freezing risks
The first sign of ice in your water pipes is reduced water flow
Make sure you check your water flow before you go to bed and again as soon as you wake up
Check your pipes in unheated areas like crawl spaces or attics
Seal drafts and make sure your chimney flue is closed. Caulk gaps that are close to pipes.
When Pipes Freeze
If your pipes do freeze, you can thaw them out with a hair dryer
You can also thaw a frozen pipe by heating water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and then wrap them around cold sections of the pipe.
To thaw a pipe, start close to the faucet. Make sure you have the faucet turned on so the melted water can drip out.
When Pipes Burst
Shut off water at the main valve
If the break is in the hot water pipe, turn the valve off on the water heater
Call a plumber as soon as possible