If you were paying attention in science class, then you know water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. That means when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing—which routinely happens in winter—the water in pipes flowing in and out of your home could freeze. Rest assured, pipes don’t freeze immediately. But with sustained low temperatures and given enough time (let’s say overnight), water pipes will freeze.
Damage from frozen water pipes can be messy and expensive. Take preventative measures to avoid the worst-case scenario. However, if your pipes start freezing, you need to know what to do. Read on to learn the signs of frozen pipes, how you should respond, and what you can do to prevent a water damage disaster.
Signs of Frozen Water Pipes
Not sure what frozen pipes look like? One of the earliest signs that your pipes are freezing is a lack of water coming from faucets when turned on. If this happens, you should head to your water supply to ensure it’s still on. If so, begin inspecting your pipes for leaks or a burst.
After searching your pipes and not seeing any signs of water damage, leaks, or bursts you need to act fast. You can call a local plumber to help you thaw out the pipes, or you can attempt to do it yourself.
Read More: 6 Signs of a Bursted Water Pipe
How Do I Thaw a Frozen Pipe?
You’ve confirmed the pipes are frozen—now, what do you do? First, open the affected faucet all the way so the water can flow, and close all other faucets to a trickle. From there, you have a few good ways of thawing the affected pipes. One way is wrapping the frozen area with thermostatically controlled heat tape.
Another effective way to thaw frozen pipes is using a space heater. Point the heater toward the frozen pipes. If you don’t have a space heater, use a hair dryer and run it along the frozen pipes.
How To Prevent Water Pipes From Freezing
You don’t have to, nor should you wait, for frozen pipes to damage your property. There are some easy things you can do on your own to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Here are a few.
- Keep the heat on—You can prevent water from ever freezing by keeping your thermostat above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (but feel free to go above that).
- Insulate vulnerable pipes—High-risk areas like the garage, basement, and crawl space are more likely to freeze. Get some pipe insulation or a pipe sleeve for these areas.
- Protect outdoor plumbing—Disconnecting your garden hose and draining your sprinkler system before winter hits can go a long way in preventing frozen pipes.
- Set your faucets to drip—Allow water to drip from your faucets when the weather is approaching or is below freezing.
Water Damage Restoration Service in Idaho
Unfortunately, some homeowners and businesses in Idaho will experience frozen pipes and the water damage that follows. If it happens to your property, you don’t have a moment to waste. Call CTR for water and flood damage cleanup. The quicker you call us, the more damage our team can prevent. Water damage doesn’t happen at convenient times—that’s why our services are available any time, any day of the week. At the first sign of water damage, pick up the phone and call CTR.