During the winter months, it is important to prepare for freezing of pipes and the possibility of them bursting. When a pipe bursts, damage can happen quickly and can worsen until the problem is resolved. The following tips can help you protect your home.
To prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Insulate pipes, especially those that are close to outside walls or attics.
- Disconnect all gardening hoses, install covers on all outside faucets and turn off water to hose and sprinklers.
- Make sure the furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees when you leave your house.
- Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat to circulate.
- Identify the locations of the main water valves so that you can stop the flow of water if needed.
- Keep garage doors closed if you have a water supply line in the garage.
- Allow a faucet to drip slightly in order to minimize freezing. The water should be lukewarm.
If a pipe freezes:
- Open all faucets.
- If your pipes are frozen you can heat water on a stove, then soak rags in the hot water and wrap them around the frozen pipes. (Be sure to handle hot rags with care to avoid burning yourself.)
- Try thawing a frozen pipe by starting with the one closest to the faucet. Turn on the faucet so water can drip out.
If a pipe bursts:
- Shut off water in the main valve.
- Close valve on top of water heater if the break is in a hot water pipe.
- Call a plumber.
- Call your insurance company to file a claim.
If the water damage from a burst pipe causes you to be out of your home for any length of time, call THD at 800-817-3220. We can arrange temporary housing accommodations for you and your family while repairs are made.