Fozen Pipe Prevention and Tips | SERVPRO of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City
Although it doesn't typically get below freezing in New Orleans, over the past few winters there have been a few very cold days. The best thing you can do is know how to keep your pipes from freezing before those below freezing temperatures hit. Frozen pipes can be preventable.
Here are some ways to prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)
- Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Let the cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night. During a cold snap, it is not the time to set back the thermostat at night.
- Seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.
- If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
My Pipes Froze. Now What?
If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. Turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps.
- Turn on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. As tempting as it may be, do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.
- Apply heat until the full water pressure is restored. Check all other faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
If you have had damage from frozen pipes or have questions call SERVPRO of New Orleans Uptown & Mid-City anytime at 504-496-0193 and we can answer your questions!