What Do I Do If My Pipes Freeze?

From cold temperatures to snow, the winter chill affects a homeowner's life in several ways. However, frozen pipes are the scariest of them all. Your property's plumbing system comprises several pipes that provide hot or cold water to you all year long. As the temperature falls, these pipes and the water within them tend to freeze. Although it might not seem like a major issue initially, frozen pipes can burst, causing a flood on your property. Therefore, if you are in a what-do-I-do-if-my-pipes-freeze situation, follow our guide to thaw frozen pipes and minimize the risk of water damage.

What Do I Do If My Pipes Freeze | Step-by-Step Guide

Is the temperature below freezing point, and have the faucets started malfunctioning? Frozen pipes are likely to be the reason. When dealing with frozen pipes, it is important to act quickly in order to thaw the pipe and prevent it from bursting. Follow these steps to protect your plumbing:

Step 01: Shut Off the Water Supply

If you suspect a frozen pipe, step one is to turn off the water source for your property. This is crucial as it limits water damage in the case of a potential burst pipe.

Step 02: Try to Find the Frozen Pipe

Once you have turned off the main water supply, it is time to search for the frozen pipes in your property. Look into the garage, basement, exterior wall, attic, and under sink.

Pro Tip: The easiest way to locate a frozen pipe is to inspect the pipelines around the malfunctioning faucet.

Step 03: Open All Faucets Connected to the Frozen Pipe

Opening faucets linked to the frozen pipe will relieve the pressure on the non-frozen areas, helping to prevent the pipe from bursting.

Step 04: Inspect the Frozen Pipe for Bursts or Leaks

A frozen pipe location will be less detectable until the water inside it has thawed. This is why inspecting the frozen pipes for any cracks or holes is advised. In case of bursts, immediately call STOP Restoration of Spokane.

Step 05: Warm the Pipe Manually

You can do this by heating the frozen pipe area with a hair dryer, wrapping an electronic heating pad around the pipe, or even both. However, if you don't have any of these items, soak towels in hot water and place them over the frozen pipe. If this is your only option, make sure to replace them frequently to prevent them freezing as well!

Warning: You should never use kerosene, propane heaters, or a blow torch to thaw frozen pipes, as it's dangerous and can cause a fire. Also, never leave the hair dryer or heating pad unattended.

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Here are some tips to winterize pipes in your home:

  • Seal the cracks in the exterior walls.
  • Insulate the pipes using pipe insulation or heating tape.
  • Open all cabinets under the sink.
  • Drip your faucets.
  • Keep your house heated to at least 55 degrees.

Hire STOP Restoration of Spokane!

Frozen pipes don't only look scary but can easily burst and lead to water damage and mold damage if not addressed within time. Therefore, it is essential to keep an eye on the plumbing system during winter. In case of frozen pipes, use our guide to defrost them and contact STOP Restoration of Spokane to mitigate any risk of water damage from your property.