The Saint Louis region has been hit with an unusually cold winter. This can mean catostrophic damages to your home. We’ve responded to a lot of incidents of pipes that froze & burst this year. Frozen pipes are a common issue in cold weather that most homeowners don’t think about. Luckily, there are many actions you can take to avoid these problems. To steer clear of the pains of dealing with frozen pipes, follow these precautions.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
- Keep your garage doors closed, especially if there are water pipelines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow for more air circulation. This is especially helpful if there are pipelines in the walls behind the cabinets.
- Let cold water drip from your faucets. While this may seem wasteful, having a continuous stream of water slowly trickle from your faucets will prevent the pipes from freezing.
- Seal up any cracks and holes that are near pipes.
- If you have any exposed pipes, apply heating tape directly to them. If you choose to do this, be sure to pay close attention to the tape’s application and safety instructions.
- Leave your thermostat alone. Regularly changing the temperature of your thermostats may increase the chances of your pipes freezing due to the constant change.
- However, if you will be away from home for a few days, keep your thermostat above 55° F.
- For a long term solution, consider adding insulation to your attic, basement, and crawl spaces.
How can you tell if you already have a frozen pipe? If you turn on a faucet and only a few drops come out, you probably have your answer. John Galeotafiore, who oversees Consumer Reports’ testing of home products and power gear, says “If you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home.”
If you have a broken pipe, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, take the following steps.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
- Turn on your faucet. Having running water, even if it’s cold, will help melt the ice.
- Apply heat to the pipe using a heating pad, hair dryer, or a space heater. Just be sure to stay away from any device that has an open flame.
- If you are unable to locate the pipe, or these methods are not working, call Reclaim Services 636.926.8700.