‘Tis the Season: Are you Prepared for a Winter Freeze?

blog4By: Christina Stanfill

It is that time of year again. Holidays are upon us, family is near and hot beverages are popular. With all of the commotion this season brings, preparedness for a winter freeze is often neglected. Are you prepared for a winter freeze at your home or business?

I have compiled a list to assist you in the preventative steps for a pipe freeze. In the event that it is already too late, please skip forward to the final section.

There are several “Preventative” measures that can apply for different situations. If you are leaving town, you will follow many different steps than those that are just generally getting prepared. If you are leaving town and are concerned with frozen pipes, please be sure to take additional steps in preparing your home or business. These steps include turning off your main water supply, opening all of your faucets and adding antifreeze to all drains including sinks, bathtubs and toilets.

If you are not planning a trip away, and a freeze is nearing the corner, please follow these tips:

Keep the water moving. When the water is forced to circulate within your pipes, it is not able to freeze.
Keep your home heated above 60 degrees. Keeping your heater turned off may save you on your electric bill, but if you allow your pipes to burst, you will be spending more money in the long run.
Cover any exposed pipes with a damp blanket or fitted sleeves. This will help with the slow down of the heat transfer. The more insulation, the better!
Seal any cracks or holes in outside walls that are near water pipes. This will help create more insulation for those pipes.
Keep your cabinet doors open. Any pipes within your cabinets are not getting that warm air. By opening them, you are allowing for the warm air to circulate near and around your pipes.

Have you turned on your water faucet, yet no water is coming out? Don’t take any chances! Call a plumber immediately, as it may already be too late. In the event that your pipes are frozen, at high risk of bursting or have already done so, please follow these tips:

Turn off water at the main shut off valve.

DO NOT try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame, as this will be damaging to the pipes.
You may try using a hand held blow dryer to help thaw the pipes.
Wrap the pipes with warm damp towels.
Leave the main faucets ‘open’ until the repairs are made.