Whenever the outside temperature reaches its freezing point, your plumbing system succumbs to all kinds of problems. One of the biggest is a frozen pipe, which happens when ice forms inside or around the pipes. If you don’t weatherize your plumbing beforehand, it can create leaks and escalate into a burst pipe. A burst pipe is more difficult to repair because it not only breaks the pipe, but it can also tear your flooring and walls apart.
A burst or frozen pipe is unlike any other common plumbing problem you’ve encountered, and it needs to be repaired properly. If not, you risk exposing yourself to contaminants that are carried by the water. You also leave your property open to various types structural water damage, including:
When pipes are coated with ice, it’s more difficult for water to flow smoothly throughout your home. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
Look for the signs:
If you encounter any of these problems, you can proceed with attempting to thaw the pipes. Just remember to act with extreme caution, so as not to make the situation worse.
The first thing you want to do is to turn off your home’s water supply and open bathroom and kitchen faucets slightly. This will alleviate pressure on the plumbing system. Next, have a mop and/or some towels handy to clean up the melted ice.
Once you have your cleaning materials on hand, you can start thawing the pipes. To know which pipes are frozen, you can feel the temperature with your hand or use an infrared thermometer.
When the problem areas are located, you can use a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer to thaw the ice. You can also try wrapping towels that have been soaked in hot water around them.
It’s especially important not to use anything with an open flame (e.g. propane heater, kerosene, blowtorch, etc.) when thawing frozen pipes. Doing so places you at a higher risk of creating a fire.
If the pipes don't thaw quickly, there’s a good chance that the frozen pipe will burst. This happens when there’s a lot of pressure contained in the plumbing system, which causes the structure to expand and break.
A burst pipe can be disastrous. Here are just a few problems that could arise:
In this situation, the best solution is to call a professional plumber for help. We have the experience, expertise, and the necessary equipment to fix or replace damaged pipes quickly and safely. We can also help you continue thawing your plumbing system through various winterization methods. Plus, we’ll take care of the clean up!
Your TriState Home Services technician will inspect the pipes throughout the entirety of your home. We will diagnose and repair any burst or frozen pipes, and clean up on our way out. For more information about winterizing your home, or if you are in need of pipe repairs call us at 866-624-5970 or complete our contact form and we’ll dispatch our restoration crew ASAP. Our services are available to properties in Frederick, Gaithersburg and Rockville, Maryland and surrounding areas.