The old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in North Carolina, just wait 24 hours. It will change.” It’s not uncommon to have thunderstorms, mild weather, and snow in the same week! This short guide gives you everything you need to know about protecting your property from the devastating effects of water damage from frozen pipes.
When temperatures dive below freezing, there is an increased chance of the water inside the pipes freezing and causing the pipe to burst. When water inside a pipe freezes, it expands. If the strength of the pipe wall does not expand with the ice, it can break the pipe. This is not only an inconvenience, but it can also cause significant damage to your home or business. You may not know about a burst frozen pipe right away, since the ice can cause a blockage in the water flow. Here’s what you can do to get ready:
- Evaluate your property and take steps to prevent pipes from freezing. See tips below.
- Locate your water shut-off valve just in case you need to take quick action.
- Know who to call. If your pipes freeze and burst, call PHC at 910-814-2502 or 919-834-6523 as soon as possible to prevent further damage caused by water.
- Pipes that freeze are typically located in unheated interior spaces such as attics, basements or crawl-spaces. They are also found in your garages or inside cabinets. Check these spaces to identify exposed pipes.
- Pipes located in insulated spaces can also freeze if some of that pipe has no insulation and is exposed to to freezing temperatures.
- Exterior water supply lines: exterior faucets (hose bibs), irrigation system pipes and supply lines from the incoming water source can also freeze.
- Disconnect hoses from outside hose bibs.
- Add Insulation to or over supply lines in these unheated areas.
- Close your crawl-space vents to reduce cold air intrusion and to maintain some climate control. Don’t forget to open them back up in the spring to allow for much needed airflow.
- Install pipe wrap to pipes that are exposed and accessible.
- Keep the garage doors closed – some heat is better than no heat.
- Allow faucets to drip water – this keeps the water flowing and reduces the risk of freezing.
- Open cabinet doors for cabinets located on exterior walls.
- Keep your heating system running, especially if you are not occupying the building.
- Slowly thaw pipes using a small heat source-Do Not Use a blow torch or fuel powered heater.
- If you notice water flowing from a burst pipe, shut off the water immediately and call PHC. We are here to help and on call 24/7/365.