When the weather gets incredibly cold, water bursting through pipes can be a common sight. Water damage restoration companies in Springfield Missouri get tons of calls every winter to restore properties that have been damaged by frozen pipes. While water damage cleanup does require expert assistance, there are a few things you can do to thaw the frozen pipes and prevent water damage that could occur.
Which Pipe is Frozen?
The first thing to do is determine which pipe is frozen. When you aren’t sure, start by turning on all of the faucets. A faucet that has only a tiny bit of water or doesn’t have any water at all is likely connected to a pipe that’s frozen.
Start with the Faucet
Start with the faucet that leads to the frozen pipe. Opening the hot and cold handles will allow water to easily flow once the pipe starts to thaw. Then, start closer to the faucet and work to the frozen section. Starting closer to the frozen section means the melting ice might get stuck by the blockage, which could add to the pressure in the pipe and cause it to break.
Working on Exposed Pipes
When you can access the pipes that you need to thaw, there are a few ways to do this. A hairdryer, when used safely, can be used to thaw the pipes. Towels that have been dipped in hot water can also be used and is likely a safer measure. Electric heat tape can also be used by attaching it directly to the pipe. This helps thaw the pipe by insulating it and can be left on the pipe so you can turn the heat on or off as needed to keep pipes from freezing.
Working on Enclosed Pipes
Sometimes, it might not be easy or possible to access the pipes that are frozen. However, there are a few different ways to help them thaw before the pipes burst. Heating up the home can help increase the temperature around the pipes, encouraging them to thaw. An infrared lamp can also be positioned in front of the wall where the frozen section of pipe is situated. The lamp’s heat can help the pipe thaw faster. Another option, though one you won’t want to try unless it’s your only option, is to cut out the section of drywall in front of the frozen section so it’s accessible.
Understand the Risks
Whenever you try to thaw a frozen pipe on your own, there are risks. Heat sources can lead to injuries or to a fire, so always be sure to take safety precautions whenever you’re using electrical equipment. Also, make sure you do start working on the pipes closer to the faucet as starting closer to the frozen section could cause the pipe to burst, which could cause significant water damage inside your home.
Use these tips to deal with frozen pipes before they burst. If you ever experience water damage in your home, from a frozen pipe or otherwise, call the professionals at PuroClean Certified Restoration for an estimate on water damage cleanup in Springfield Missouri.