While winter brings a lot of enjoyable events, like the Holidays, skiing and snow days, it also brings the risk of frozen pipes in your home or business. When temperatures plummet, the water inside your pipes can freeze, causing potential damage and inconvenience. However, if you act quickly and follow the right steps, you can minimize the harm and thaw your frozen pipes. If you do find yourself with frozen pipes, or suspect you’ve got a frozen line, follow these tips from the experts at Best Option Restoration of NWA:
1. Identify the Pipes That Are Frozen:
Your first sign of frozen pipes might be very little to no water coming from a faucet. Check the water flow throughout your home so that you can begin determining where the frozen pipe(s) are.
2. Turn Off the Water Supply:
Before attempting to thaw the frozen pipes, shut off the water supply to prevent further damage. Locate the main water shut-off valve, which is typically found near your water meter or where the water line enters your home. Turn it off by turning the valve clockwise.
3. Open Faucets:
After turning off the water supply, open the faucets associated with the frozen pipes. This will relieve any pressure in the system and allow water to escape as it thaws, reducing the risk of bursting the pipe. PVC pipes are more likely to burst than copper or steel, but there is still a risk even metal pipes can crack or burst when freezing occurs.
4. Apply Heat:
There are several methods to thaw frozen pipes, but it's essential to do so carefully. Here are a few effective techniques:
a. Hairdryer: Point a hairdryer at the frozen section of the pipe and move it back and forth until the ice melts. Start from the faucet end and work your way toward the blockage.
b. Heat Tape or Heat Cable: These specially designed products can be wrapped around the frozen pipe and plugged in to slowly thaw the ice. You can find these products at your local home improvement store ranging from $30-$120.
c. Space Heaters: If the frozen pipe is in an accessible area and it is safe to do so, you can use a space heater to warm the space and encourage thawing.
5. Never Use an Open Flame:
Under no circumstances should you use an open flame, propane torch, or any other high-temperature device to thaw frozen pipes. This can lead to accidents and fires.
6. Monitor the Thawing Process:
Keep a close eye on the thawing process. As the ice melts, water should start to flow again. If you notice any leaks or cracks in the pipe, turn off the water supply immediately and call a professional water damage repair company, such as Best Option Restoration of NWA.
7. Insulate and Prevent Future Freezing
a. Insulate Pipes: Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Use pipe insulation sleeves or heat tape.
b. Seal Cracks and Gaps: Seal any cracks or gaps in your home's walls or foundation that allow cold air to enter.
c. Keep Faucets Dripping: On extremely cold nights, allow a trickle of water to flow from faucets to keep the water moving and prevent freezing.
d. Protect Outdoor Faucets: Go to your local home improvement store and purchase outdoor faucet covers. These slide over your outdoor faucets in one step and protect them from freezing. You can pick these up for around $5.00
If at any point during the process of identifying and unfreezing your pipes you feel uncomfortable with what you are undertaking, you should call for professional help. If you find pipes that have cracked or burst, you should definitely get a professional to assist you. Best Option Restoration of NWA is a locally owned water damage repair company. We are available 24/7 to help you deal with frozen pipes and water damage in your home or business. We have the equipment, experience and the knowledge to take care of the situation quickly and confidently.
Dealing with frozen pipes can be a stressful situation during the winter months, but with the right steps, you can minimize the damage and inconvenience. With one call to Best Option Restoration, help will be at your door, anytime of the day or night. We are here to answer your questions, help you with insurance and restore your damaged home or business anywhere in Northwest Arkansas.