Cold weather poses a serious threat to your home's plumbing system. Frozen pipes can be catastrophic, causing serious damage to your home. The key to curbing water damage caused by a frozen pipe is to be able to recognize the signs of freezing and take immediate action to prevent a rupture.
Monitor for Signs of Freezing
You must be vigilant when it comes to monitoring your pipes for signs of freezing during the winter months. It's easy to check for freezing in visible pipes. You can look for bulges that indicate a buildup of ice inside the pipe. Frost on the exterior of visible pipes is also an indication that freezing may occur.
Hidden pipes are much harder to monitor. Your plumbing fixtures can provide valuable insight into the condition of hidden pipes. If you notice that a reduction in water flow from your faucet or your toilet bowl doesn't fully fill after each flush, these could be signs that there is a frozen pipe in your home.
Attempt to Thaw Frozen Pipes
Once you suspect that you have a frozen pipe in your home, you should take immediate action to try and thaw the pipe if you want to avoid any serious damage. Start by turning off your home's water supply at the main water valve. This will prevent any flooding in the event that the pipe bursts while you are trying to thaw it out.
Once the water supply to your home is turned off, then open all of the faucets in your home to allow excess water to drain. Turn up the thermostat in your home to raise the ambient air temperature to thaw hidden pipes. Wrap visible pipes in towels soaked in hot water to expedite the thawing process.
Contact a Plumber
If you are seeing the signs of a frozen pipe but are unable to locate a frozen pipe in your home, you should call an experienced plumber right away. Shut off the main water supply to your home to avoid complicating the problem while you wait for the plumber to arrive.
A plumber has access to specialized tools that can help locate an ice blockage and remove it before it causes structural damage to your pipes. If the damage has already been done, the plumber will be able to replace the frozen pipe with a new one so that your plumbing system will continue to function normally.
For more information, contact companies such as Bud's Heating & Air Conditioning.