How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

frozen pipe water damage, preventing frozen pipes, frozen pipe water damage

Winter ushers in chilly temperatures that can wreak havoc on your pipes. When water expands as it freezes, stress is placed on your pipes. This pressure can cause the pipes to burst, leading to a major water loss in your home. ServiceMaster Restore wants to share some helpful tips on how to prevent frozen pipes this winter season.

The Truth About Frozen Pipes

  • Water exerts up to 40lbs of pressure on your pipes as it expands by 10% when frozen.
  • Homes built in 1960 or before are especially susceptible to frozen pipes.
  • 37% of frozen pipe failures happen in a basement.

Where to Find At-Risk Pipes

  • Outdoor pipes exposed to the elements.
  • Supply lines in unheated areas.
  • Pipes along exterior walls with little or no insulation. 

How to Protect Your Pipes 

  • Drain swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines. 
  • Drain outdoor hoses. Close supply valves.
  • Insulate attics, basements, and crawlspaces.
  • Use pipe sleeves or UL-listed heat tape for insulation.  
  • Move exposed pipes to heated areas. 

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes 

  • Keep doors near supply lines closed.
  • Open kitchen and cabinet doors to circulate heat.
  • Leave a slow drip through faucets to prevent freezing. 
  • Keep indoor thermostat temperatures consistent at all times.
  • When away, keep the temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Are My Pipes Frozen?

These are some symptoms of frozen pipes:

  • Only a trickle of water comes out of the faucet.
  • Touch-test exposed pipes. If they are cold to the touch, they could be frozen.
  • Signs of water damage, including peeling paint, sagging ceilings, wet drywall, discolored areas.

How to Handle Frozen Pipes 

  • Keep faucets turned on to melt the ice and de-thaw the pipe. 
  • Use a heating pad or blanket to warm pipes.
  • Apply warm air with a hair dryer or heater. Do not use blowtorches, propane heaters, stoves, or other open flames.
  • Apply heat until pressure has returned.
  • If you cannot access the frozen pipe, call a professional plumber.

Don’t Let Frozen Pipes Ruin Your Property

If your property falls victim to frozen pipes, and worse, a pipe bursts, ServiceMaster Restore is here to help. Our water restoration team is experienced with burst pipe water damage and will get your property back to normal in no time at all.