During the winter, one of the biggest concerns that homeowners have is the pipes freezing. A pipe that freezes and then bursts can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Although you cannot control the weather, you can prepare and protect your pipes.

Our service team at ARK Basement Services sees countless cases every year of homes and businesses that did not prepare properly for the cold weather. Below are a few recommendations for steps on how to protect your home from freezing pipes this winter.

Locate High-Risk Freezing Pipes

Any area in your home that is not heated regularly is at risk of having frozen pipes. For example, most attics, basements, and garages are not heated or insulated. If there are pipes inside the walls, you will want to pay special attention to those rooms.

Utilize the Heat

Keep all the exterior windows and doors closed to conserve the heat that you do have in those areas. You will also want to leave interior doors (think: kitchen cabinets) open to allow warm air to circulate throughout the area.

Allow Faucets to Drip

Although it is probably against your better judgment, it is best to allow the water to drip from any pipes that are at a high risk of freezing. When the water is moving, it is much less likely to freeze than standing water.

Plan for Leaving the Home

If you are going away for the holidays, do not immediately turn off the heat for your home. Although that would save you some heating costs, the bill for fixing pipes that burst could be thousands of dollars. Instead, decrease the temperature to no lower than 55F. This will allow you to save on the heating bill and will protect you from frozen pipes.

What to do if Your Pipes Freeze

If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, you will want to evaluate before you start running the water. Turning on the faucet could allow water to flow through a cracked pipe into your home. First, do a walk around and check all your high-risk areas for any water that may have already entered. Then try to run a little bit of water, and if it does not flow or only a little bit of water comes out, reevaluate your high-risk area.

A few of our suggestions for thawing out your pipes include:

  • Run the Water – When a pipe is frozen and a little bit of water is still coming through, the running water could help thaw out the blockage.
  • Use a Heating Pad/Space Heater – Applying heat to the area where the blockage is could help thaw out a section of the pipe. However, you must be careful and not use any products that are flammable.
  • Call a Plumber – If you cannot reach the frozen pipe, cannot locate the blockage, or have any other difficulties, call a local plumber. Do not try to fix the problem yourself.

What to do if a Pipe Burst

ARK Basement Services can repair foundations, cracked walls, or any water damage caused by a burst pipe. Our service team is available and provides free estimates for the Pittsburgh and Erie, PA areas. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you repair any damage caused by your freezing pipes.