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How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing and What To Do If They Freeze Anyway

Frozen pipes can lead to broken pipes, flooding, and major home damage. In order to stay comfortable and warm this winter while keeping your Shreveport, Louisiana, home free from damage, you’ll need to take plenty of precautions when freezing weather heads your way. If those precautions don’t work, you’ll want to know how to handle them so you don’t spend one minute longer than necessary without water. Read on to learn more about how to prevent your pipes from freezing and what you should do if they do happen to freeze.

Learn how to prevent frozen pipes in your home and what to do if you’re stuck with a frozen or burst pipe when the weather clears.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

When the weather dips down, and you hear about a freeze advisory in your area, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your pipes from freezing and in good working condition.

These tips will help you avoid Shreveport plumbing repair and keep your water flowing despite the bad weather.

  • Turn on your faucet to a slow drip. You can choose to drip just one of your faucets instead of all of them. If you do this, pick the faucet furthest away from where the water comes into your home. Make sure both the hot and cold taps are on. If you have a lever for your faucet, set it to the center, neither too hot or too cold.
  • Use foam pipe insulation on any pipes exposed directly to the weather or to cold drafts of air around your home.
  • Cover your outdoor spigots and faucets with insulating domes.
  • Turn off your sprinkler system, and drain your irrigation lines by blowing compressed air through them.
  • Keep your garage door closed until the freezing weather passes.
  • Make sure to disconnect and drain all garden hoses outside your home.
  • If your kitchen or bathroom faucets are on exterior walls — which increases the chance those pipes will freeze — open the cabinet doors around the sink to let warm air in your home flow through. This will help prevent the pipes from freezing.

Dealing with Frozen Pipes

Despite your best efforts, pipes can still freeze if the weather turns cold enough. There are some things you can do to thaw your pipes yourself, and some things you should never do.

  • The first thing you should do is turn off the main water valve in your home. If a pipe bursts, this will limit the amount of water that gets into your home or the walls.
  • Keep your faucet on. As the ice melts in the pipe, the water will begin to flow again, which will help melt the rest of the ice.
  • Carefully apply gentle heat to the frozen area of the pipe using a heating pad or towels soaked in hot water.
  • Never use an open flame device, like a blow torch or propane heater, to thaw a pipe. You could harm the pipe or start a fire in your home.
  • Wrap the pipe in electric pipe heat tape. It has a built-in thermostat to control the temperature. Plug it in and let it thaw your pipe. You can even use it to prevent frozen pipes in the future.

When You Need to Call a Plumber

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you need to call us to help you deal with your pipes after a freeze.

  • Call if the frozen pipe is inaccessible to you. Maybe it’s in a wall, under your house, or in another hard-to-reach spot.
  • If thawing your pipes doesn’t work, go ahead and give us a call. We can use different and effective methods to get your water running again.
  • Call immediately if a pipe bursts or if you’re concerned that a pipe might burst. Make sure you turn off the water at the faucet or the main water valve to your home as soon as you know the pipe has burst. This will help decrease the amount of water that gets into your home.

Whether you’re dealing with frozen or burst pipes or you need help preventing plumbing problems around your home, at Pioneer Comfort Systems we’re ready to help when you need a Shreveport plumber. We offer emergency plumbing solutions in Shreveport and trenchless drain repair in Shreveport, as well. Give us a call today at 318-795-8000.