What should you do if your pipes freeze?

pipes freeze

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Are you ready for winter? With cooler temperatures on the way, now is a good time to learn what to do if your pipes freeze this year. Dealing with frozen pipes can be a major hardship for homeowners. Frozen pipes not only disrupt our daily routine, but can also lead to significant damage if left unnoticed. However, no need to panic immediately! We’ll be diving into why pipes freeze, how you can prevent it, and what steps to take if you find yourself in such a frosty situation. So, let’s thaw out these issues and flush the worries away. Your trusted guide to navigating the chill of frozen pipes is just a read away.

How do you know if your pipes are frozen?

Being aware of the signs of frozen pipes in your house is extremely important, particularly in the colder months when temperatures plummet, and the risk increases. If you suspect that your pipes might be frozen, there are numerous telltale signals you should look out for.

  1. No water: One of the most obvious signs of frozen pipes is no water coming from your faucets. If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out (or nothing at all), there is a strong possibility that your pipe has frozen. If water is not coming out of your faucet during cold weather, you may have a frozen pipe.
  2. Unusual smells: If your piping is completely blocked by ice, then it could cause household odors to travel back through the pipes and into your house since the normal flow is disrupted. If you’re noticing unpleasant scents emerging from your drain or faucet, it could be due to a blockage in your pipe.
  3. Frost on pipes: When the water inside the pipe freezes, the cold can sometimes be seen on the outside in the form of visible frost. This is a clear indication that the water inside the pipe is freezing as well. Nevertheless, this sign might not always be obvious if your pipes are hidden behind walls or cupboards. A frozen hot water pipe may be hard to find behind drywall.
  4. Clanking sounds: A strange clanking sound when the tap is turned on could also indicate frozen pipes. As the water tries to flow past the blockage, it may cause some unusual and potentially worrying sounds.

In essence, knowing and recognizing these signs can be instrumental in saving your home from extensive water damage that may be caused by frozen pipes. Preemptive awareness and timely professional intervention are your best defenses against this prevalent winter problem. To protect your home and maintain a healthy plumbing system, stay attentive to these key signs that your pipes may be freezing. 

Learn more about our frozen pipe service!


What causes pipes to freeze?

causes pipes to freeze

Numerous factors can contribute to frozen pipes in winter in homes and commercial buildings. The primary reason pipes freeze is due to exposure to persistently low temperatures, particularly if the pipes are inadequately insulated or located in an area of your property that is not heated. Without a steady supply of heat, the water contained within the pipes can eventually freeze. 

When Do Pipes Freeze?

When the outdoor temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes located in unheated areas are particularly at risk. Areas such as basements, attics, and garages that are not typically heated are commonly plagued by this problem. The risk is even higher for pipes that run through exterior walls.

Another critical factor causing pipes to freeze is a lack of proper insulation. Insulating your pipes, especially those at greater risk of freezing, insulates them from the freeze-thaw cycle and prevents them from bursting. Adequate insulation also saves heat, reducing the risk of freezing when the temperature drops.

Inactivity can also lead to pipes freezing. If a house or building isn’t used for a long period, the heating might not be in use. As the temperature drops, the inactivity can cause the water in the pipes to freeze.

Lastly, a quick drop in temperature, poor insulation, thermostats set too low, and drafty windows can cause pipes to freeze unexpectedly.

How to avoid frozen pipes

  • Ensure Proper Insulation: One of the major steps to prevent frozen pipes is to make certain your pipes are well insulated.
  • Keep Your Home Warm: Keeping your home at a constant temperature, at least warmer than 55°F (13°C), during winter can also help you avoid frozen pipes. Never let your home thermostat fall below this range, especially when you’re away.
  • Seal Cracks and Openings: Cracks or openings in your home’s walls or foundations can let in cold air that can freeze your pipes. Seal any noticeable cracks or openings, especially those near water pipes, with caulking or spray foam.
  • Leave Faucets Dripping: Running a small amount of water through your pipes can help prevent them from freezing. The constant movement of water, however negligible, can keep your pipes from ice blockage.
  • Drain Sprinkler Lines and Hoses: Water remaining in hoses and sprinkler systems can freeze and cause damage. It’s prudent to drain them before the onset of winter and disconnect from outdoor spigots. A cold water pipe that’s frozen can cause major issues.
  • Close Garage Doors: If you have water supply lines running through your garage, keeping garage doors closed any time you’re not entering or leaving can prevent frozen pipes from cold air exposure.
  • Consider Professional Pipe Insulation: If you’re unsure about how best to protect your pipes from freezing, consider contacting us Plumbers Near Me. We can inspect your home, recognize potential issues and expertly insulate your pipes for optimal protection.

What happens when your pipes freeze?

What happens when your pipes freeze

When your pipes freeze, a myriad of issues can occur, which can potentially cause significant damage to your home. 

Will Frozen Pipes Burst?

Essentially, when water inside your pipes begins to freeze, it expands. This process can cause pressure to build-up within the pipes, leading to them bursting. The burst is likely to cause water leakage, which subsequently leads to flooding inside your home. In most cases, homeowners may not be aware of the frozen pipes until they burst, causing a sudden plumbing emergency. Besides, pipes situated in the exterior wall or unheated interior spaces like basements, attics, and kitchen cabinets are more susceptible to freezing.

The negative impacts of frozen pipes are significant. It’s not only about the high costs of repairs or replacement of the broken pipes but also pertains to the possible destruction of personal property due to flooding. Massive water leaks can damage the building’s structure, personal belongings, and may also lead to the growth of mold, further compromising the indoor air quality and posing health risks. Find out more about our drain services and how we can help protect your home!

What to do if your pipes freeze in your house?

You have a frozen pipe – what should you do? This issue can escalate further if not addressed immediately, resulting in burst pipes – leading to expensive repairs, significant property damage, and a whole lot of headaches. Understanding what to do if your pipes freeze in your house can save you time, money, and stress.

How to Unfreeze Pipes

If you suspect a frozen pipe, it’s important to know how to fix frozen water pipes. You should check all the water sources in your home to identify the problem area. You can try to thaw it using a hairdryer on a low setting or wrapping it in heating pads or hot towels. NEVER use any open-flame devices as they may cause more damage and risks such as a house fire.

If you can’t locate the frozen pipe, or if your attempts to thaw it aren’t successful, it’s time to call a professional plumber. We have the tools and know how to unfreeze water pipes without causing more damage to your plumbing system.

Plumber Near Me is Here to Help with Burst or Frozen Pipes

Help with Burst or Frozen Pipes

Preventing pipes from freezing is crucial to maintaining the functionality and longevity of your home’s plumbing system. Let Plumber Near Me help pick the proper materials to prevent frozen pipes this winter. A frozen pipe can lead to significant damage to your home, but through proactive prevention and early intervention, you can avoid unnecessary costs and headaches. Plumber Near Me is ready to help whether you want preventative efforts or need immediate help. We can work on any plumbing issues you have from burst pipes to water heater plumbing. If your bathroom pipes or kitchen pipes are frozen, give us a call as soon as possible to prevent further damage – we want to be a part of your frozen pipes solution! Contact us today!


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