How To Repair Damage From Frozen Pipes
Winter storms are no laughing matter. Severe weather can wreak havoc on homes anywhere, and the costs of the damage can make the repair process miserable. A common issue with wintery weather is frozen pipes. Plumbers receive calls about the frozen messes left behind by winter storms regularly during the colder months of the year.
But homeowners don’t always have to wait for a plumber to arrive to start fixing the problem. There are simple, basic protocols every homeowner should follow to address any wintery pipe problems.
Pipe Thawing Basics
If a pipe freezes, homeowners should call a plumber to address the situation fully. But, homeowners can do their part to find the frozen pipe and begin remedying the issue.
- Locate: The first step to assist the plumber will be to locate the suspicious pipe. Check for sinks that won’t turn on and frost or excessive condensation appearing on exposed pipes or walls. These are sure signs of a frozen pipe.
- Prepare: First and foremost, turn off the water supply. The last thing anyone wants is a torrential wave of water pouring through a frozen pipe. Frozen pipes will need an outlet for the water as it begins to thaw. Homeowners should ensure the faucet to the corresponding sink or shower is turned on, regardless of if the water is coming out.
- Thawing Techniques: Once the pipes and faucets are prepped, thawing can commence. There are a couple of tools that one can find in the home to use for thawing. Homeowners can try placing a space heater near the frozen pipe or place heated towels on the exposed areas of the pipe. Dedicated DIYers can set up shop by the pipe with a hairdryer to get at the frozen water, too.
- Thawing Don’ts: Thawing pipes can take time. It is not unheard of for the process to take an entire day. One should NEVER use an open flame to try and melt a frozen pipe. Open flames can damage pipes and set fire to homes.
Burst Pipe Response Basics
When a frozen pipe hasn’t been caught in time, it will often burst. The result is an expensive and sometimes long repair process. Homeowners can lower the damage costs by following these steps.
- Shut Off Water: The second a burst pipe is suspected, homeowners should shut off the water supply in the home. This will prevent any excessive flooding in the home.
- Call a Plumber: Homeowners should contact an emergency plumber the moment the pipe bursts. Burst pipes can introduce sewage and hazardous materials into a home along with water, and plumbers are trained to handle those situations.
- Clean & Clear the Room: If water has started flooding a room, one should clean up as much as possible with sponges and towels to prevent water damage. They should also clear out any furniture, decorations, or belongings to assist the plumber and provide ample workspace.
Professional plumbers should always take care of the repairs of a burst pipe. No one should try to fix the issue with a DIY solution, which can just make things worse.
Tips To Avoid Frozen Pipes
Homeowners can take some steps to prevent frozen pipes and pipe bursts.
- Trickle Water: Running a trickle of water through the pipes 24/7 may seem excessive, but it is one surefire way to prevent frozen pipes. A tiny trickle is enough to keep water from staying stagnant in pipes.
- Insulate Exposed Pipes: Exposed pipes are more likely to freeze than those in walls surrounded by insulation. Exposed pipes can be insulated using foam pipe insulation. The insulation can be bought at a local hardware store.
- Leave the Heat On: Homeowners shouldn't let their thermostat drop below 55 degrees during the winter months, even if the home is vacant for a vacation or trip. Lower indoor temperatures are more prone to freezing and burst pipes.
Following these simple steps can help solve frozen and burst pipe issues and prevent them from happening in the future.
About A & A Plumbing
At A & A Plumbing, the safety and comfort of our clients come first. The family-owned and operated business is built on taking care of San Antonio, TX. From expert technicians to top-of-the-line technology, the team at A & A Plumbing has the supplies and skills to handle any plumbing situation. Their team is ready to handle plumbing emergencies quickly and affordably. Call now for burst pipe services!