We all know that water damage is an expensive and hard to remedy problem. One way to avoid it is to prevent pipe freezing before cold weather hits. Now that the temperatures in the Twin Cities area are dropping down to the single digits, here are some tips to help you deal with frozen pipes and avoid water damage.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
Since pipes are usually hidden behind walls, there are a few other ways to discover the problem before it gets too bad.
- Faucets Don’t Work
When you turn on the water, but nothing happens, you may be looking at a frozen pipe. Use the below methods to gently thaw the pipe. Never use a blow torch due to fire hazard.
- Running Water
If you still hear running water somewhere after turning the faucet off, there’s a leak that needs to be fixed. If this happens, turn off the main water supply and look for the problem.
The key to avoiding pipe freezing is to keep the pipes warm as much as possible.
- Air Leaks
First, seal any sources of air leaks. Pipes can freeze wherever they’re exposed to cold air. Close off crawl spaces and stuff insulation into any remaining gaps.
Garages pose a threat when a laundry room or bathroom is above it. To avoid unnecessary cooling, keep the door closed as much as possible.
For bathrooms with pipes that run along an exterior wall, keep the vanity doors open to allow more heat to enter the room. If a deep freeze is on its way, use a fan to circulate heat or a space heater for a temporary warm up.
When leaving the home for extended periods of time, keep the heat at least at 55 degrees to prevent pipe damage while you’re away.
External pipes are more prone to freezing than internal because they’re usually more poorly insulated, thanks to their location. Take these precautions before the weather turns cold to prevent problems.
- Garden Hose
Bring the hose in, drain it, and turn the external faucet off.
Turn off and drain any sprinkler system.
Before problems happen, know where your main water shut-off is. Usually, it’s either in the yard underground, the garage, laundry room, or basement.
Taking these steps can save you time and expense in repairs. In the event you do have a frozen pipe burst and have water damage, it’s best to get it repaired as soon as possible to avoid development of mold, mildew, and further structural problems.