February weather can be unsettling, and what we’ve experienced this year has only proved this statement! But snow and ice and wicked winds can do more damage than frostbite — they can impact your home as well! Something that can cause the biggest headache this time of year is frozen pipes.
Here are a few areas to keep an eye on around your home that may be susceptible to frozen pipes this time of year and how to react if an issue occurs:
- Exposed pipes. Let’s start with an area that may be the most obvious: pipes directly exposed to the elements. Your first thought may be your garden hoses –they can cause damage if not properly stored! Remember to remove and drain hoses. Keep outside bibs and valves open to ensure that any remaining water can expand without causing breakage. For all exterior pipes, it may be worth it to add insulation directly to them. You can purchase products specifically made for this reason, or you could maneuver in some newspaper for a little added protection.
- Basement. Unfinished basements often lack proper insulation, which makes them more prone to the elements. This goes for crawl spaces in your home as well! Prevent frozen pipes in these areas of your home by adding insulation. You can insulate the space itself or the pipes directly — whichever makes more sense for your situation.
- Kitchen. It can be easy to forget about the pipes underneath your kitchen sink, in your laundry room, or lurking in other areas of your home. Don’t overlook them when it gets cold! These can be some of the heaviest hitters when it comes to frozen pipes. Encourage air circulation by opening cabinets and keeping a slight stream of water running through them when possible.
- Attic. Similar to basements, attics can also end up being one of the most susceptible areas of your home to frozen pipes due to their frequent lack of insulation. If you find yourself battling frozen pipes in your attic, consider adding insulation. Also, make sure to get your roof checked and repaired as needed to avoid other damage!
So, you found frozen pipes in your home… now what?
You know the feeling: you go to turn on the sink after a freezing cold night and nothing comes out. Panic ensues, and you realize that your pipes are frozen! If you discover frozen pipes in your home, turn the faucet on and apply heat (like a space heater, hairdryer, or a towel soaked in hot water) to coax the pipes back to normal. If you are unable to handle the task on your own, or if your efforts are unsuccessful, you should call a professional plumber for assistance.
The ServiceMaster by Ayotte team is here for you in your time of need. If you experience water damage from burst pipes, give us a call and we’ll send out our Disaster Restoration experts 24/7/365.