When water pipes burst as a result of freezing, total repair and cleanup costs can range anywhere from $5,000 to $70,000 – making them one of the biggest threats your home faces during the winter season. You can quickly end up with flooding and dangerous electrical shortages, plus ruined furniture. Fixing this isn’t easy – but preventing it can be.
The acronym “TIPS” provides a convenient tool for remembering how to prevent frozen pipes, as well as how to approach the situation if they do. “TIPS” outlines the four areas of concern involved in addressing the issue:
Safely and effectively reacting to freezing pipes is as simple as locating the area of concern and using a hair dryer to thaw the area. Hold it six inches away and move it back and forth until the pipes warm up. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to call a plumber.
This is key to preventing the issue, rather than reacting. Go to a local hardware or home improvement store, pick up some insulation, and fasten it to pipes in unheated areas (basements, crawl spaces, etc.).
There are several things to remember when protecting a home from frozen pipes. Always check water meters for broken or missing lids. Secure windows and other entryways to the home to eliminate drafts. Remove garden hoses and other exterior sources of water circulation – those are the first to freeze. Expose pipes to higher temperatures by keeping warm water running and cabinet doors open.
Thawing, insulating and protecting pipes could very well save your time, energy, money, and most importantly, your home.
Frozen pipes are a serious problem and common in the Greater Philadelphia area, which is why homeowners should be proactive to prevent them, rather than reactive and risk paying the price.