What to do When Your Pipes Freeze

The average low temperature in western Illinois in January is 23 degrees Fahrenheit and some nights, the temperature can dip down below that. Those single digit temperatures can pose a threat to even the most well-insulated pipes. If you wake up on a chilly morning, turn your bathroom or kitchen faucet and get no water, it’s a good bet that one or more of your plumbing pipes have frozen during the night. Do you know what to do next?

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Frozen pipes are not just an annoyance. They can cause a lot of damage if the expanding frozen water in them causes the pipe to burst, sending water cascading throughout your home as the temperature rises and the water thaws. The average insurance claim for damage caused by a frozen pipe is $5,000. For this reason, it’s important to deal with frozen pipes as soon as you become aware of them.

Shut Off Water

Since the real problem happens as the water thaws, it’s important to make sure that no new water can access the pipe. That means, even if the pipe has cracked or burst, there is a limited amount of water that will flow from it.

Thaw Pipes

After the water is turned off, thaw the affected portion of the pipe with a space heater or hair dryer. Don’t use a propane torch, as this is a fire hazard and can cause more damage than it will prevent. You can also wrap heat tape around the pipe for a quick thaw.

Mop Up Excess Water

It’s wise to have a bucket handy as the pipe thaws in the event there is a crack in the pipe. If so, make sure to mop up any excess water to prevent mold or mildew forming.

Call the Professionals

To learn more about keeping the water in your western Illinois home flowing freely, even in the winter, or to schedule an appointment for an emergency repair, contact BELOMAN Heating, Plumbing, and Air Conditioning. We’ve been helping area homeowners keep their homes safe and comfortable in the winter AND summer since 1959.