Frozen pipes, if left alone, can be disastrous. Frozen pipes may burst and flood your home, causing at least $5,000 of water damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety and up to $70,000 of water damage according to Costhelper.com.
Follow these simple tips to prevent your Atlanta-area pipes from freezing. We’ll also show you how to thaw your pipes to keep them from bursting if they are already frozen.
Preventing frozen pipes
- Insulate your pipes – Buy some pipe sleeves, UL-listed heat tape or a heat cable, and insulate the pipes in the unheated areas in your home (attic, basement, crawl space, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets).
- Keep faucets dripping (just barely) – This tip is only for the coldest of nights! Dripping faucets keep the water in your pipes moving, which prevent your pipes from bursting if they do become frozen.
- Provide an extra power supply – If your power goes out on a cold night, the chances of your pipes freezing rises significantly. Buy a reliable backup power source, like a generator, to ensure continuous power to your home.
- Keep your garage door closed – This will keep more of your home’s heat inside and help prevent any exposed pipes from freezing.
Thawing frozen pipes
If your pipes are frozen, don’t let them thaw on their own. The last thing you want is thousands of dollars of water damage from a burst pipe.
Follow these steps to thaw your pipes:
Step 1) Turn on your water faucets. When you start thawing your pipes, your faucets will leak water, letting you know that you’ve found the frozen pipes and are melting the ice. Also, moving water speeds up thawing process.
Step 2) Find the frozen pipes. They are usually in an outside wall, under a sink or in an unheated crawl space.
Step 3) Safely apply heat to the frozen pipes. A few ways to safely heat frozen pipes include using:
- Electric heat pads
- Electric hair dryers
- Portable space heaters
- Towels soaked in hot water
Whatever you do, DO NOT use a blowtorch or anything that projects an open flame to thaw the pipes.
Repairing frozen pipes
If your pipes have burst, your first priority is to prevent more water from flooding your home.
Find your main water valve and turn off your water supply. Then contact a professional plumber immediately to come repair your pipes
You can prevent $5,000 to $70,000 of water damage to your Atlanta-area home by using these frozen-pipe prevention tips.
Coolray and Mr. Plumber provide professional plumbing and drain cleaning service 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to homes throughout the Atlanta area. If you need help fixing or preventing frozen pipes, call us at (770) 421-8400 or contact us online.