Although we’ve had a break from the single digit weather this week, there’s no telling when the frigid temperatures will be back. If there’s one thing we know as Midwesterners, we still have a long winter in front of us.
Despite the fact that you may have made it through the first deep freeze unscathed, it’s not a bad idea to educate yourself on how to prevent/respond to frozen pipes.
First, understand where you’re most likely to encounter a problem. The biggest culprits are water supply lines in unheated areas like garages, attics, basements, or cabinet areas. Also, pipes that run along the outside of the house or in low insulation areas are highly susceptible to freezing.
Next, know what you can do to prevent the problem:
- Open cabinets to allow warmer air to flow, especially on exterior walls.
- If leaving the home for extended periods of time, do not set the thermostat below 55 degrees. Installing a “smart” thermostat can help you monitor the temperature of your home while you’re away.
- Run at least a trickle of water through the pipes daily as moving water prevents freezing.
- Add insulation to the areas where pipes are exposed.
- Contact a Pearson representative about relocating some piping in your home or remodeling areas with exposed pipeline.
- Review the City of Rockford’s Cold Weather Preparedness Guide for more tips
Thawing Frozen Pipes
If you suspect that part of your pipelines may be frozen, consider the following:
- Keep the faucet open. Running water will help with movement as you begin to thaw out the pipes.
- If reachable, apply heat to the frozen area using a hair dryer or towels soaked in hot water
- Do NOT use any handheld torches to thaw your pipes, under any circumstances. The Chicago Fire Department has already responded to several fires in 2018 due to people attempting to use this very dangerous method.
- If you suspect a pipe is frozen, contact a Pearson representative to assist in handling the situation. Pipes are susceptible to bursting if the thawing process is not handled appropriately.