How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

As temperatures drop this winter, your pipes could be in danger. Water expands when it freezes, but your pipes don't. You can take measures to lower the risk of pipes freezing. If your efforts fall short, call an experienced company to take care of your water damage cleanup in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Preparations

You don't have to wait until a deep freeze is imminent to take preventive measures. You know which pipes are the most vulnerable, so be proactive:

  • Wrap the pipes in unheated areas, such as your attic, garage, or crawl space, with foam pipe insulation. Consider investing in thermostatically controlled heat tape, which turns on at certain temperatures.

  • Remove and drain outside garden hoses. Close the interior shut-off valve leading to the faucet, drain the spigot, and put an insulator or covering over the faucet.

  • If you've had trouble with pipes in an exterior wall, open the wall and increase insulation around the pipe. If all else fails, reroute the pipe. Compare the cost to potential major damage requiring water damage restoration if the pipe bursts.

Be Sensible

When the temperature falls to 30 degrees or below, take simple measures to prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the doors to your cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms so your pipes will get heat. Let the faucets drip. Seal any cracks near pipes. Apply heating tape to pipes or add extra insulation.

Frozen Pipe

Leaving for the Winter

If you're heading south for the winter, don't forget about your pipes. Don't set your heat below 55 degrees. Shut off the main water supply. Drain the system by opening the faucets and flushing the toilets.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

If only a trickle comes out of your faucet after a frigid night, you may have a frozen pipe. Turn on the faucet. Apply heat to a section of the pipe. You can use a hair dryer or a space heater, or you can wrap the pipe with an electric heating pad or towels soaked in hot water. Don't use a blowtorch as the high amount of heat can damage the pipe.

If the pipe is broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve. Call Certified Water, Smoke & Fire for help 888-464-7880.