Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How To Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

Water pipes are extremely vulnerable when the temperatures plummet as they have this last week in Wake Forest NC. The extended forecast shows even more colder than normal temps in the days ahead. Here are some great tips to help you prevent your water pipes from freezing AND what to do if the water pipes DO freeze!


  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas paying attention to pipes that run along the floors, ceiling and outside walls (don't forget the garage!)
  • Disconnect any garden hoses.
  • Be sure to seal any foundation cracks that you may have that would allow cold air into crawlspaces.
  • Open cabinet doors under the kitchen sink and bathroom vanities.
  • Let a small trickle of water flow from your faucets during the extreme cold.
  • Keep all exterior doors to unheated areas CLOSED! (utility rooms, garage, exterior yet attached storage rooms)
  • If you are going out of town be sure to have a neighbor check on your water pipes while away.
  • If you are going to be gone for an EXTENDED period of time or you have a vacant property you should have the water pipes drained.

After the Fact: (frozen but not burst)

  • Be sure to familiarize yourself with shutoff valves.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch.
  • Turn up the heat in the house to warm the surroundings (if an inside pipe)
  • Infrared lamps can help to heat up a pipe.
  • A hair dryer can be used to warm up the frozen area of the pipe.
  • Heat lamp or portable heaters.
  • Electric heat tape applied to frozen pipe.

A frozen water pipe can spell disaster should it burst. If you are in need of advice for water damage you can check out a post I have on What's Your Circa - while the post may have been written during hurricane season it still addresses water damage regardless of the cause.

Water Damaged Historic Homes - What to Do.

Stay warm my friends! It's COLD in Wake Forest NC!

A Walk Through Historic Wake Forest, NC