How to Keep Your Home’s Pipes from Freezing This Winter

It’s the classic winter problem. You twist the hot water tap for your bathroom sink and place your hands beneath the faucet — but nothing comes out.

Not even a dribble. You realize that this means your pipes are frozen.

How can you avoid this common winter frustration? Read ahead to find out.

How Can You Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Your winter pipes are susceptible to freezing during the coldest times of the year. The good news is this problem is completely avoidable.

How? Start by disconnecting your indoor plumbing from the cold outside. Remove your garden hoses from outdoor faucets and store them away for the season.

Insulate and cover up the outdoor faucets. Since these are exposed to the cold weather, they are more likely to freeze.

Then you’ll want to deal with the exposed water pipes located in poorly insulated spots in the house, like your basement, crawlspace or garage.

These will also be vulnerable to freezing. You should add foam insulation to these water pipes to protect them from the chill. This is an easy chore that you can complete in an afternoon.

What Should You Do When Pipes Freeze?

What can you do when your pipes have already frozen? First, you should turn on your taps. Turning on the taps will prevent pressure from building up in the pipes.

The next thing that you should do is thaw out the water pipes. If you can figure out which exposed pipe is frozen and you have time on your hands, you can use things like hair dryers or space heaters to slowly thaw the pipe.

Under no circumstances should you put an open flame near your pipe — this is how house fires can start.

If you can’t thaw it yourself, you should call up a plumber and have them thaw the pipes. They can do the job quickly and safely.

What if you can’t afford plumbing services? This winter problem is serious.

You shouldn’t ignore it just to save yourself some money. If you don’t have the funds to cover the costs of their services, you have three options:

  • See whether the plumbing company has a payment plan
  • Put the charge on your credit card
  • Apply for a small personal loan

You don’t have to make an appointment with your local bank branch to apply for a loan. You don’t even have to leave your front door.

As long as you’re eligible, you may be able to get your next loan online (learn more) and use the borrowed funds to handle this urgent problem. Once that’s done, you can manage a sensible repayment plan.

Why Should You Thaw Frozen Pipes?

Living with frozen pipes is no fun. You won’t have access to running water, and you can’t be sure when it will return.

This inconvenience isn’t the only reason why you should try to deal with your frozen pipes as soon as possible.

The other reason is that frozen pipes are prone to bursting. A burst pipe can send gallons of water into your property.

If you’re not around to react to the plumbing emergency, the pipe could cause a basement flood and thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage.

You don’t want to pay the price of ignoring your pipes this winter. Follow these tips and keep them from freezing!

Signs Your Pipes Have Frozen

Not sure you’re dealing with frozen pipes? Check out some of symptoms that might be caused by issues with your pipes that can occur when they freeze or partially freeze.

Water Pressure Dropping

A drop in water pressure

The last thing you want is to be in the middle of having a warm shower in the winter and suddenly find the water pressure dropping.

A drop in water pressure means you have a major issue in your plumbing system, and it’ll take more than your skills to fix that problem.

You might have a clogged pipe or the water main might be malfunctioning.

If the pipes are frozen, then your water supply is having a hard time pushing through when you make the call for running water.

In any case, chances are finding a solution to this problem will be challenging and something that requires a skilled plumbing contractor unfortunately.

Pipes Leaking Water

You might be tempted to tackle whatever plumbing problems you have on your own, or even call the neighborhood handyman to fix the issue.

But some problems are just way over your or their head, and you’d be better off calling a contractor to deal with it.

The first of those is having water leaking from one of your frozen pipes, and this can be more problematic than you think.

Sure, it might be a simple connection that needs tightening or a tube that needs reconnecting if this happens in the summer, but if you see or suspect your frozen pipes have cracked then the problem is bigger.

In such cases, it’s definitely better to call a contractor to fix whatever the underlying problem may be, as they are the only ones who understand the mechanics that go into it and have the experience to go with it.