Defending Your Home From Frozen Pipes
Posted On: February 11, 2016
Minnesota winters can cause frozen pipes, resulting in costly damage to your home. When water freezes it expands, putting great pressure on pipes, oftentimes causing a burst.
The amount of pressure is enough to rupture almost any pipe filled with water. If a pipe bursts it will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage to your home.
Pipes that are most at risk for freezing and bursting include exterior plumbing; plumbing exposed to severe cold, and exposed plumbing in attics, crawl spaces, and garages.
How to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting:
The best thing you can do for your pipes is to insulate them. Insulating pipes can help prevent them from becoming frozen and bursting. Don’t be fooled though, insulated pipes can still freeze when there is no water movement to keep the pipes warm.
That’s why it’s a good idea to run a trickle of hot and cold water from your faucets when temperatures are at or below freezing.
Make sure the temperature in your home is 55 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Don’t forget to open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let in warmer air. The warmer air will circulate around the plumbing keeping the pipes warmer.
Taking steps to prevent frozen pipes is smart, but it can’t always be prevented entirely.
If you suspect a frozen pipe follow these steps:
- Keep your faucet open
- Use a hair dryer, portable space heater, or hot, wet towels and apply heat to the section of the pipe that you suspect to be frozen. (Avoid using blowtorches, kerosene, or propane heaters)
- If you can’t locate the frozen area or it isn’t accessible call Genz-Ryan.
If a pipe burst happens follow these steps:
- Shut off the water
- Turn off your heating system
- Turn off electric devices
- Cover your electricity main box
- Call Genz-Ryan
- Protect your possessions- move furniture, clothing etc. away from the burst pipe
- Remove as much water as you can with buckets, pans, sump pump, or wet-dry vacuum and place fans and a dehumidifier in the area
- Call your insurer if you think you may need to file a claim
- Record the damage for use in an insurance claim
Genz-Ryan has the expertise to help you with your plumbing repair. Our 24-hour emergency repair service is available 7 days a week.