October 31, 2019

When winter’s chill turns arctic and the temperatures around Baltimore plummet, you need to be concerned about your pipes freezing. Not only do frozen pipes present an inconvenience to homeowners who want to shower, make coffee, do laundry, or any other tasks which require water, but frozen pipes can burst, causing thousands of dollars in damage to your home. The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never applied more aptly than to the concern of frozen pipes.

How Can I Prevent Outside Pipes from Freezing?

In order to prevent frozen pipes, you must know where your pipes lie within your home. Obviously, those which you can see-the outdoor spigots, those pipes leading to your bathroom and kitchen sinks-are easily protected through simple measures such as wrapping them in insulation, or commercial pipe-wrap sold at your local hardware. But, how do you protect those pipes within your walls, which are most vulnerable when the mercury drops? Is there a way to be proactive, or must homeowners gamble with Mother Nature?

Can I Prevent My Attic, Basement, and Crawl Space Pipes From Freezing?

Ideally, making sure your water pipes are away from the least insulated areas of your home is the best way to prevent frozen pipes. However, it can be quite costly to reroute all of your plumbing. As you prepare for another frigid Baltimore winter, perform your own visual assessment of your home’s plumbing system. Wrap any exposed pipes with insulating material. In a pinch, wrap some newspaper around the exposed pipes, and then wrap the newspaper with trash bags. This should provide adequate protection from the cold.

For those less-obvious pipes, such as the ones in your attic, basement, and crawlspace, which you may not be able to see, make sure the walls surrounding those pipes are insulated. If not, do your part to insulate the areas further, packing as much as you can nearest the pipes.

What Do I Do If My Pipes Do Freeze?

If you turn on your spigot and find no water coming out, don’t take chances. Turn off your water at the source, to prevent damage in case there’s a crack in the frozen pipe and get in touch with a plumbing professional. Leave the faucets open, but don’t attempt to ‘thaw’ the frozen pipe with an open flame. You may open up your under-sink cupboards if you have them, and even use a handheld blow-dryer to attempt to unfreeze indoor pipes only, not outside, and not in your crawlspace. Take care not to stand in any water, lest you end up a casualty along with your pipes.

What Do I Do If My Pipes Burst?

If you suspect you have a burst pipe, shut off your water at the source immediately. Should you indeed have a broken pipe, this will prevent any water damage to your home. You’ll need to call on a plumbing professional to repair your pipes before any further damage occurs. This may be a good time to have the plumber inspect all of your plumbing and advise you on how to avoid future issues involving frozen water pipes.

Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions is your go-to specialist in the Baltimore area for frozen and burst pipes. Our knowledgeable plumbing specialists have more than thirty years’ experience working with local homeowners. If you’d like to prevent frozen pipes, and the damage they can cause, or, if you have suffered broken pipes from a recent deep freeze, contact Air, Plumbing & Heating Solutions and get back in the flow.

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