Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Preventing Frozen Pipes

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

Extremely cold temperatures are officially upon us and with that comes the increased threat of frozen pipes. At Blais Insurance, we are committed to helping you safeguard your largest investment from a potential loss. Frozen and burst pipes can cause extensive water damage to the interior of your home.

To help you prevent frozen or burst pipes in your home, please read the following tips, provided by our friends at MAPFRE Insurance, to help you do everything possible to prevent your pipes from freezing this season.

How to determine if you have a frozen pipe:
  • Turn on each water supply faucet (both hot and cold) to ensure that there is a steady stream of water. 
  • If the flow of water is slowed or there is no flow, then it is likely that your pipe has frozen. 
What to do if you have a frozen pipe:
  • Identify the blockage (probably the area of most exposure) and use a blow dryer (do NOT use an open flame torch!) to heat the supply line, while leaving the faucet open. 
  • Continue heating the pipe until there is a steady flow of water.
Tips for keeping your pipes from freezing:
  • Insulate all accessible pipes using pipe insulation (this can be found at your local hardware store).
  • Seal all cracks, holes, and other openings on the exterior walls with caulk or insulation.
  • If the temperature drops lower than usual and you have pipes in cabinets or closets, leave the cabinet/closet doors open or use a fan to increase warm air circulation around the pipes.
  • Pay close attention to local weather reports and prepare for extreme cold weather.
  • When extreme cold weather is predicted, let all faucets drip to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe, and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet. The pressure buildup is the actual cause of bursting pipes.
  • Shut off the water supply during periods when the home may be unoccupied, particularly when cold weather is expected.
For more information on how you can protect your home, please call Blais Insurance at 725.0070.