Prevent Frozen Pipe Bursts
Winter weather is rapidly approaching here in Philadelphia. As temperatures drop, the risk of frozen pipes surges. In fact, frozen pipe bursts are a common cause of property damage during winter months. These damages can cost several thousands to repair. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to lower the risk of a frozen pipe burst in your home.
Before temperatures fall, identify which of your pipes may be at risk. Those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics and garages are most likely to freeze. But subzero temperatures can also freeze pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls. Inspect these pipes closely for visible damage such as rust, cracks or leaks. Even slight damage raises the risk of a burst exponentially.
Once cold weather sets in, follow these steps:
Promote warm air circulation around your plumbing. Keep garage doors closed. Leave kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open. This is especially important if your sinks are located on an exterior wall.
Insulate water line pipes. Adequate insulation in attics, basements and crawl spaces will maintain warmth and slow the onset of freezing temperatures. Prevent drafts by sealing cracks around windows and doors.
Think ahead. If you plan to be away during cold weather, set the heat in your home to no lower than 55 degrees. This is especially important if forecasts predict sustained temperatures below 20 degrees.
Thawing frozen pipes:
If you suspect a pipe has frozen, take caution. If the pipe has cracked or burst, water will come flowing out and flood your home once it has thawed. Turn off your water at the main shutoff valve.
If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, take the following steps:
Turn on the faucet. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it may be, will help to melt ice in the pipe.
Carefully apply heat to the pipe. Wrap an electric heating pad or towels soaked in hot water around the pipe. Introduce warm air using a hair dryer or portable space heater, but keep these as devices far away from water and flammable materials. Never use an open flame to heat frozen pipes, as this may damage them or even start a fire.
If you are unable to locate or access the frozen pipe, call a licensed plumber.
In the event one of your pipes has frozen and burst, contact SERVPRO of Society Hill. We provide 24/7 emergency response. Our expert employees can swiftly repair the damage and restore your home.