Tips and Techniques for Preventing and Fixing Frozen Pipes

The best way to ensure that your pipes do not freeze when cold temperatures arrive is to be informed and prepare the pipes long before they freeze. 

Pipes tend to be vulnerable to bursting because standing water expands as it freezes during the cold winter. When the water expands within the pipes, it will put a tremendous amount of pressure on plastic or metal pipes. Here are some techniques for preventing and fixing frozen pipes.

Insulate Your Pipes

Before cold weather arrives, there are some simple steps you can do to the pipes to protect them from freezing. Carefully look around your home for any exposed water pipes that are not in heated areas of the home. These pipes can be located in the crawl space, attic, basement, garage, and in cabinets. 

If you discover any pipes in these locations, it is important to get the pipes insulated to stop the water from inside from freezing. Your local hardware store sells heat tape, pipe sleeves, and heating cables, all designed to keep the pipes warmer in the severe cold of winter.

Keep Your Pipes Warm

If you have located pipes in several locations, here are some other ways to help keep the pipes warmer. Always keep the garage door closed during the winter so the room can maintain a warmer temperature. 

Open any cabinets in the home with a water pipe inside so the area can receive more of the warmer air inside. Allowing the water to drip from the faucets in the home will ensure water is moving and will have a difficult time freezing in place.

Unfreezing Methods

If you have discovered a frozen pipe, it is important to act quickly to prevent it from bursting and causing significant damage. Immediately turn on the facet nearest to the pipe that you suspect is frozen, that running water will help to melt the ice inside the pipes. 

Use an electric heating pad applied directly to the frozen pipe or a hair dryer to slowly melt the ice inside. You can also soak a towel in hot water and wrap around the pipe to slowly defrost it.

When in Doubt About Fixing Frozen Pipes

If you are still facing difficulties with frozen pipe, you know the drill. When in doubt, call Mike Wilson Plumbing (804) 641-6570. We promise to provide the best service at great prices. Keep warm, RVA!


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