What’s worse than running out of hot water? Running out of water — period. If it’s cold out and this happens, watch out: You may be dealing with a frozen water pipe. In order to prevent further damage from happening, you’ll need to act fast. Save your future self from stress and added expenses by taking a few steps now to keep your pipes from freezing. Here are three simple and affordable precautionary measures you can take:
1. Insulate outdoor faucets. Buy an outdoor faucet cover and place it over your exterior faucets.
2. Insulate interior pipes. Use an X-ACTO knife or similar utility knife to cut the insulation to match the length of each pipe so it wraps around just right.
3. Let your faucets drip. In extreme weather, you can leave your faucets dripping to keep water flowing and prevent pipes from freezing.
Spotting the Problem
If a pipe is semi-frozen and starts to leak, you might be able to catch the problem before it gets out of hand. If you suspect a leak, turn the water off immediately and call a plumber. If you spot a leak, you can temporarily patch the leak by wrapping a disposable diaper around it. This won’t last long, but it may help to protect your floor from water damage until real help can arrive.
Once you have a frozen pipe, all you can do is turn the water off and call in a plumber ASAP. Keep people and pets away from any water that makes its way indoors — it can be extremely cold and even lead to hypothermia. If you have boots or rain gear available, try and remove any items in the water’s way before they’ve been compromised.
After the water has been removed and the pipe is no longer frozen, you should call a foundation specialist to assess what damage was done to your basement walls and foundation. If you haven’t already done so, this may be a good time to seal your basement. Read more…