Take These Steps to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing in the Winter
While Louisiana doesn’t have the same harsh winters as places further north, it’s still important to monitor the changes your home can experience in extremely cold weather. When temperatures drop, indoor and outdoor pipes are at high risk for bursting. Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety reports that burst pipes are one of the most common causes of wintertime property damage. These damages can cost up to $5,000 to repair, so it’s important that you know how to prevent freezing pipes.
The pipes most likely to burst are the ones in unheated interior spaces like attics and garages. However, pipes in your walls can also freeze, but there are several ways to prevent and thaw frozen pipes.
Steps to Prevent Freezing Pipes
To prevent your pipes from freezing in subzero temperatures, you can:
- Keep your garage door closed. If the garage is sealed off, cold weather is less likely to freeze the pipes in your garage that are more exposed to the elements.
- Open the cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathrooms to let warmer air into the space around your plumbing system. This trick is especially important if your sinks are on exterior walls, which makes the pipes freeze easily. Remove harmful chemicals from the cabinets if there are small children or pets around.
- Drain the water from your swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines. This decreases the chance that the pipes leading to those water supplies will freeze in cold weather, and it gives you one less pipe to worry about.
- Most importantly, let cold water drip from your faucets. Running water through the pipes helps prevent them from freezing since there is a constant flow through them. Just a small water drip is all you need to keep water moving through the system, so make sure you turn both the hot water and cold water taps on in your sinks.
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze
If your pipes have frozen but not yet burst, we advise that you call a plumber like Central Plumbing in Baton Rouge. A plumber can help you find the frozen pipes and give you direction to thaw them safely. You can try these tips for thawing the pipe yourself if you feel comfortable doing so, but realize that there could be complications that only a plumber could fix if things go wrong.
- Run water through your pipes. As you heat the frozen pipe, you want the water to flow through and heat the ice on the outside. Even if it is cold water, running water through the pipe will help melt ice in and around the pipe.
- Use a hairdryer, space heater, or warm towels to melt the frozen pipes. Do not use any heating apparatus with an open flame like a blowtorch or charcoal stove. The high heat can damage the pipes or start a fire. This presents a fire hazard and is likely to cause serious damage to the pipe.
If you find that your pipe has frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, usually located near the water meter or where the main line enters your house. Call Central Plumbing immediately to make repairs. Our experienced plumbers will fix your burst pipes quickly and professionally to prevent further damage to your property.
[Related: What to Do When You Have a Frozen Pipe]
Call Central Plumbing if You’re Faced with Frozen Pipes
With over 45 years of serving Baton Rouge’s plumbing needs, we know frozen pipes. If you have questions about how to prevent freezing pipes or you need help after a pipe has burst, give Central Plumbing a call at 225-925-8552. We’re ready 24/7 to take care of your plumbing emergencies.