1. Identify the Frozen Pipes
The first indication of frozen pipes often comes in the form of reduced or no water flow from your faucets. To pinpoint the location of the frozen pipe(s), check the water flow throughout your property.
2. Turn Off the Water Supply
Before attempting to thaw the frozen pipes, it's crucial to shut off the water supply to prevent further damage. Locate the main water shut-off valve, usually near your water meter or where the water line enters your property, and turn it off by rotating the valve clockwise.
3. Open Your Faucets
After shutting off the water supply, open the faucets associated with the frozen pipes. This step will relieve pressure within the system and allow water to escape as it thaws, reducing the risk of pipe bursts. Keep in mind that PVC pipes are more susceptible to bursting than copper or steel pipes, but even metal pipes can crack or burst during freezing conditions.
4. Try to Thaw Out Your Frozen Pipes
Several methods can be used to thaw frozen pipes, but it's essential to proceed with caution. Here are a few effective techniques:
a. Hairdryer: Direct a hairdryer at the frozen section of the pipe, moving it back and forth until the ice melts. Start from the faucet end and work your way towards the blockage.
b. Heat Tape or Heat Cable: These specially designed products can be wrapped around the frozen pipe and plugged in to slowly thaw the ice. You can find these products at your local home improvement store, with prices ranging from $30 to $120.
c. Space Heaters: If the frozen pipe is accessible and it is safe to do so, you can use a space heater to warm the area and encourage thawing.
5. Avoid Using an Open Flame of Any Kind
Avoid using open flames, propane torches, or high-temperature devices to thaw frozen pipes, as this can lead to accidents, fires and further damage to your pipes.
6. Monitoring the Thawing Process
Keep a close eye on the thawing process. As the ice melts, water should begin to flow again. If you notice any leaks or cracks in the pipe, immediately turn off the water supply and seek assistance from a professional water damage repair company, such as Best Option Restoration.
7. Insulate and Prevent Future Freezing
a. Insulate Pipes: Protect exposed pipes in unheated areas of your property, like basements, garages, crawl spaces, and attics, using pipe insulation sleeves or heat tape.
b. Seal Cracks and Gaps: Seal any cracks or gaps in your property's walls or foundation that allow cold air to enter.
c. Keep Faucets Dripping: On extremely cold nights, allow a small amount of water to flow from faucets to keep the water moving and prevent freezing.
d. Protect Outdoor Faucets: Purchase outdoor faucet covers from your local home improvement store. These covers easily slide over outdoor faucets, protecting them from freezing, and are usually available for around $5.00 each. Be sure all hoses and fittings are disconnected before the threat of a freeze.
If, at any point during the process of identifying and unfreezing your pipes, you feel uncomfortable or uncertain, it's advisable to seek professional assistance. If you discover cracked or burst pipes, professional help is a must! Best Option Restoration of DTC, a locally owned water damage repair company, is available 24/7 to assist with frozen pipes and water damage in your property. We have the equipment, experience, and knowledge to handle the situation swiftly and confidently.
Dealing with frozen pipes during the winter months can be a stressful situation, but by following these steps, you can minimize damage and inconvenience. With just one call to Best Option Restoration of DTC, help will be at your doorstep, day or night. We are here to answer your questions, assist with your insurance claim, and restore your damaged home or business anywhere in the Denver Tech Center area. Call us at 720-500-5350.