How to prevent and fix frozen pipes
Prevention is your best defense.
Preventing frozen pipes
- Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest.
- Seal air leaks surrounding or near pipes.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Keep heat at 55 degrees F or higher even when you are out of town.
- During a cold spell turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night.
- If you need to be away from home, leave the heat on and drain your water system before you go.
- Identify the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.
What to do if pipes freeze
- Open all faucets.
- Remove insulation and wrap pipes in rags.
- If all else fails, call your plumber.
What to do if pipes burst
- Shut off the water immediately to prevent additional damage.
- Take proper precautions to avoid an electrical shock from being in or near standing water.
- Take an inventory of any damaged property or possessions.
- Contact a vendor specializing in emergency water mitigation services that can properly dry out the damaged area.