Five Things to Do if Your Home Has Frozen Pipes

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The dropping temperatures of winter can have drastic results on even the most advanced plumbing systems. If your home is not properly prepared, you may be in for quite a bit of trouble. Frozen pipes are all too common in cold areas. Most homeowners in such environments prepare accordingly.

What about here on the Gulf Coast? Is your home prepared for freezing temperatures, however rare they may be? If not, a frozen pipe can easily escalate into a burst pipe. The resulting water damage is expensive and troublesome. Let’s work together to tackle frozen pipes.

What to Do With Frozen Pipes

No matter where you live, you must worry about any water supply lines leading into your home. The water supply pipes, which are small, are subject to freezing when temperatures drop to their lowest. A drain pipe is safe because it is not pressurized, meaning the wastewater inside will not freeze as a freshwater supply pipe will.

If your water pipe freezes, here’s what to do:

  • Turn on the Heat – As you are working to thaw your frozen pipes, you’ll want to keep the heating system running smoothly. By turning on the heat, you effectively help warm the pipes within your home, which can help thaw the ice and get water running once more.
  • Turn on the Faucet – Turn on the corresponding faucet for the affected pipe. As you thaw the pipe, the running water moving to the faucet will help unfreeze the affected section, thereby unfreezing the entire pipe.
  • Apply Heat – Once you locate the frozen pipe, apply heat directly to the affected portion. You can accomplish this by using an electric heating pad wrapped around the frozen pipe, a hair dryer, a portable space heater, or a wrapped towel soaked in hot water around the pipe.
  • Avoid Flames – When unthawing a frozen pipe, you should always avoid using open flame devices. That means you should never use a blowtorch, propane heater, or charcoal stove to thaw your pipes.
  • Check Faucets – If one pipe in your home has frozen over, chances are another is likely to freeze, too. After you handle the first frozen pipe, perform a thorough inspection of all other water pipes to check for signs of freezing elsewhere.

If at any time you have trouble locating or thawing the frozen pipe, call an experienced plumber or restoration specialist. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of a burst becomes. If the pipe does burst, then the chances of water damage increase exponentially. You may be looking at hundreds of gallons of water deposited into your home, where it will fester and rot materials over time.

If you are dealing with frozen pipes or water damage, call Restoration 1 of Gulf Coast for immediate restoration services. You can reach us day or night by calling 228-231-9745.