Winter can be a challenging time for homeowners when it comes to plumbing. When temperatures drop, pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting, which can cause costly damage. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes and thaw them if they have already frozen. Below are prevention tips for protecting your pipes from cold weather if you are located in the Champaign-Urbana region.
You have the right to choose your contractor when your home is damaged, and you need to go through your homeowner’s insurance. You should go with a trusted, local company that you know can get the work done right and can accommodate very stressful situations, and you don’t want to add to your stress in the rebuilding process by going with an inexperienced or understaffed contractor. Experienced contractors can assess the damage quickly, make accurate estimates, and get started on repairs and renovations quickly. The most important thing is to act fast once you know damage has been done because of frozen pipes.
Not only should your contractor have experience with their trade, but they should also have experience with the paperwork and reporting needed to work effectively with your insurance company. Do not be afraid to ask them if they are experienced with restoration work and insurance claims and to ask for references.
The most important thing you can do is take preventive measures to make sure your pipes don’t freeze in the first place. Because we live in an area where temperatures dip below freezing, insulating all exposed plumbing with insulation sleeves or foam wrappings is often necessary. Ensure to insulate both hot and cold water pipes so that no matter how low the temperature drops, none of your pipes will freeze—additionally, open cabinet doors so that warmer air can circulate the pipes underneath sinks and appliances. You should also let faucets drip slightly overnight if temperatures drop below freezing since running water won’t freeze as quickly as still water does.
If your pipes have already frozen, don’t panic; they can usually be thawed without significant damage occurring. If you choose to assess the damage on your own, before contacting a professional, start by turning off the main water supply valve and then use a hair dryer or heating pad on a low setting to warm up the pipe slowly until the ice melts away completely. Never use an open flame or torch to unfreeze a pipe since this could result in serious damage or even flooding if things get out of hand. If the pipe has been damaged due to freezing, call a professional plumber immediately so they can assess the severity of the situation and make any necessary repairs or replacements before any further damage occurs.
It’s important for homeowners living in cold climates to understand how freezing temperatures affect their plumbing system and take necessary precautions ahead of time, such as insulating exposed pipes with foam wraps or insulation sleeves and keeping cabinet doors open when possible. By understanding how cold weather affects plumbing systems and following these simple tips, you can help protect your home from expensive repairs due to frozen pipes this winter!
As always, we encourage you to contact a professional if you think serious damage has been done due to frozen pipes! If you are located in Champaign, Iroquois, or Vermillion counties, contact C-U Under Construction in the event of a plumbing emergency. Their in- house trades company, C-U Trade Services, can fix the plumbing, and their restoration and construction team can walk you through the claims process and restore your home.