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As most of the country continues to slog through another cold and wet winter, homeowners are needing to do what they can to avoid major risks that come with colder weather. One risk that can happen at any moment in homes located in areas that see freezing temperatures is dealing with frozen pipes. While it’s best for homeowners to do what they can before winter weather settles in to prevent pipes from freezing up, it’s not always possible.
For homeowners who have frozen pipes, it’s critical that they not only thaw out their pipes but that it is done in the correct way to avoid future risks and damage. Here’s a close look at how pipes freeze, the damage they can put forth, and how to take care of them without causing more damage.
Why Frozen Pipes Are Dangerous
Frozen pipes are a problem for a number of reasons. They can create major inconveniences in homes that are just trying to make it through winter and can end up causing major damage to property.
A major danger of a frozen pipe is the inability to access or run water. This can interfere with a household’s ability to do everything from flush a toilet to washing the dishes, everyday needs for anyone living inside.
Furthermore, when pipes freeze, they can actually end up bursting. Once the actual water in the pipe freezes up, the pressure that’s been created can build up between the closed faucet and the blockage and can end up causing an explosion. If the pipe bursts outside, this could end up creating slippery conditions and even ice.
Identifying Freezing Pipes
A water line that is coated in frost or one that looks like it’s bulging is a good sign that something isn’t right with a pipe. However, not all plumbing pipes are visible. If faucets won’t flow, toilets aren’t able to be flushed, and showers can’t be started, it’s a good sign the pipes are frozen.
Thawing a Frozen Pipe
Most Homeowners insurance policies cover burst pipes and can provide the resources needed to have the issue fixed. It is good to contact your Insurance Company or Insurance Agent, if possible, and they can advise you on your coverage and/or assist in arranging qualified plumbers or contractors to help with the repair and restoration if the damage is more extensive and appears to be larger than the deductible on your insurance.
It’s important to start with shutting off the water supply to a specific area of the house, or the entire house if that’s the only option because the actual issue begins after the thawing. This is due to frozen water that may be acting as a plug, working hard to prevent water from spilling out of the cracks in a house’s pipes. When that plug is thawed, water starts to gush out. It’s good to be ready for this to happen and have a mop and towels at the ready.
Next, it’s wise to utilize a space heater, heat lamp, or hairdryer on the frozen length of the pipe. Homeowners can also wrap frozen pipes with heat tape that’s thermostatically controlled; this targets a frozen section and thaws pipes quickly.
To reduce the chances for mildew or mold, run a dehumidifier in the space until it’s completely dry and monitor it throughout the process to make sure nothing is building up.
About Mavon Insurance
At Mavon Insurance, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to insurance. We focus on integrity, communication, professionalism, respect and gratitude to help our clients succeed and place business in specialized markets. For more information about our products, or to become an agent, contact us today at (855) 248-1480.