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Fear of Frozen Pipes? Here’s how to prevent them

Northeast weather is notorious for changing on a dime. Although an occasional respite from frigid temperatures occurs, be assured the extremely low temps will return. Before the next cold spell hits, be sure you are aware of these tips to prevent a costly disaster in your home or business:

  • Keep thermostats at a minimum of 55 degrees, especially when planning to be away from home for a few days or longer.
  • Keep faucets open with a slow drip which keeps water moving and slows the temperature from dropping below 32 degrees.
  • Seal up your foundation or crawl space, being sure to locate small cracks and openings. Additionally, strong gusts of wind can force frigid air into your unsealed areas increasing the possibility of frozen pipes. Consider having these pipes wrapped with heat tape or electric heating cables.
  • Be sure your home or business is properly insulated, especially in crawl spaces and exterior plumbing walls.
  • Open cabinet doors so warm air can circulate around all plumbing, especially those cabinets attached to exterior walls.
  • Be sure any outside hoses have been disconnected and drained (including the plumbing to the outside faucet). These are especially vulnerable to bursting, which you may not know until the weather warms up and water starts to drain under your home or in your basement.

In spite of thorough preventative maintenance, frozen pipes can sometimes happen. The best course of action is to call a licensed plumber for professional help. But if you prefer to thaw them yourself, use caution so further damage is not incurred. Never use open flames to thaw pipes as this can cause further damage. Use hot wet towels or a hair dryer to slowly warm up the pipes. Open faucets to relieve any pressure once thawing begins. Once complete, be sure to check for any pinhole leaks or cracks and have them addressed.

If water damage occurs, call a professional restoration company like ServiceMaster Apple Valley to clean up and dry out any affected area. With 24/7/365 help, you can be back to pre-disaster status and will be better prepared for the next cold snap!