Frozen Pipes Can Happen in Alabama – Here’s How to Prevent Them

Despite our relatively warm climate, temperatures can drop significantly during the winter. As it grows colder, your home’s plumbing system is going to take the brunt of the damage. When pipes freeze, however, the situation is not as easy as calling in a plumber. A frozen pipe is liable to burst. If that happens, the resulting mess can lead to extensive, costly water damage in your home, which may include serious flooding, mold growth, and repair bills.
Preventing Frozen PipesThere are three primary causes of frozen pipes, including freezing temperatures, improper insulation, and a household thermostat set too low. You cannot prevent freezing temperatures, but you can prepare your home and plumbing adequately. Here are a few tips to prevent frozen pipes this holiday season:
If you have any exposed plumbing pipes – inside or outside – then consider insulating these pipes. You may find multiple water pipes in the crawlspace or attic, both of which are vulnerable areas that tend to freeze. The more insulation you use for your pipes, the better.
If you do not have pipe insulation or cannot find any in a nearby hardware store, consider heat tape. Wrap your pipes in heat tape, following all instructions, to prevent freezing.
Before temperatures drop too far, take a walk around your home’s interior and exterior. Look for leaks that allow cold air indoors. Then, seal these leaks promptly. Use caulk or insulation to seal the leaks you discover.
Outside, disconnect the garden hose and store it somewhere indoors. Use an indoor valve to turn off and drain the water from the pipes leading to outdoor faucets.
Thawing Frozen PipesIf your plumbing does happen to freeze, consider the following methods to thaw the pipes:

  • Turn on your faucet, on warm/hot water, to get water flowing through the pipes.
  • At night, when temperatures are at their lowest, leave the faucet open. Running a bit of water through the system helps melt ice and prevent further freezing.
  • If a pipe is completely frozen, try applying heat using an electric hair dryer, heating pad, portable space heater, or warm towels. Do not use an open flame device, such as a propane heater or blowtorch.
  • Be sure to check all the faucets in your home for signs of frozen pipes. If one pipe is frozen, others are likely to follow suit.

If components of your plumbing system freeze, you need to call for professional assistance. Time is of the essence. If not handled promptly, a frozen pipe may burst and cause extensive water damage.
For frozen pipes and water damage restoration, call Restoration 1 of East Alabama. You can reach us day or night by calling.