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What to Do If Your Interior Pipes Freeze During Winter

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Winter can bring about numerous challenges, and one of the most common issues homeowners face is frozen interior pipes. When the temperature drops below freezing, the water inside the pipes can freeze, causing them to expand and potentially burst. This can lead to costly repairs and water damage. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage. Here are some steps you can take if your interior pipes freeze during winter.

1. Identify the Frozen Pipes

The first step is to locate the frozen pipes in your home. Check areas where pipes are exposed, such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Look for visible signs of freezing, such as frost on the pipes or bulging sections. If you notice any of these signs, it’s likely that the pipe has frozen.

2. Turn Off the Water Supply

Once you’ve identified the frozen pipe, locate the main water supply valve and turn it off. This will prevent any further water from flowing into the frozen pipe and reduce the risk of a burst pipe.

3. Open Faucets

Next, open the faucets connected to the frozen pipe. This will help relieve any pressure in the system and allow water to flow once the pipe thaws. Keep the faucets open until the water starts flowing freely again.

4. Apply Heat

There are several methods you can use to thaw a frozen pipe. One option is to use a hairdryer or heat gun to apply gentle heat directly to the frozen section. Start from the end of the pipe nearest to the faucet and work your way towards the frozen area. Never use an open flame or high heat source, as this can damage the pipe and increase the risk of a fire.

Another method is to wrap the frozen pipe with towels soaked in hot water. This will help transfer heat to the pipe and gradually thaw it. You can also use a heating pad or electric blanket to warm the area around the pipe.

5. Call a Professional

If you’re unable to thaw the frozen pipe or if you’re unsure about the best course of action, it’s best to call a professional plumber. They have the expertise and specialized tools to safely thaw the pipe and assess any potential damage. Additionally, a plumber can help identify and address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the freezing, such as insufficient insulation or drafts.

Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s important to take steps to prevent your interior pipes from freezing in the first place. Here are a few preventive measures you can take:

1. Insulate Exposed Pipes

Insulate any exposed pipes in your home, especially those in unheated areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces. You can use foam pipe insulation or heat tape to provide an extra layer of protection against freezing.

2. Seal Drafts

Seal any drafts or gaps in your home that allow cold air to enter. This will help maintain a warmer temperature and reduce the risk of freezing pipes. Check for drafts around windows, doors, and any openings where pipes enter your home.

3. Keep a Constant Temperature

During cold weather, keep your thermostat set to a constant temperature, even when you’re away from home. This will help maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home and prevent pipes from freezing.

4. Let Faucets Drip

Allowing faucets to drip slowly can help prevent pipes from freezing. The constant flow of water reduces the likelihood of water becoming stagnant and freezing within the pipes.

Remember, if you’re experiencing frozen pipes or any other plumbing issues, KBolt is here to help. As a renovation and maintenance service provider, we have a team of experienced professionals ready to assist you. Contact us today for all your plumbing needs.

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