In the Chicagoland area, February has been unkind with an artic weather pattern which brings with it snow and sub-zero temperatures. The trend is forecasted to continue significantly further into the month. We hope that your home is prepared and that you are safe, warm, and healthy.

Frozen and burst pipes are among the most frequent emergency plumbing calls we get this time of the year. This can be a big problem causing water damage in your kitchens, bathrooms, or crawl spaces.

Whether you are reading this message in time during this deep freeze, or you see it at another time during the year, it’s a really good idea to be prepared for frosty weather, especially as it pertains to your plumbing.

Plumbing Tips for Freezing Temperatures

If a pipe is frozen, closely monitor the area because. When water freezes, it expands. This can force feed lines (the pipes which bring water to your faucet) to expand too which can weaken the wall and cause a split. When the line thaws, water can start leaking from that split from a small drip to a gush. This can damage your cabinets, floors, drywall, and woodwork which can be costly.

Use these strategies to keep your water flowing, keep your pipes intact, and avoid messy problems.

  1. Increase your thermostat – In older homes, it may be necessary to turn up your thermostat a few extra degrees in the 70s. Older homes may not be as well insulated as newer ones. This inefficiency can really take a toll on the ability for the home to retain heat, particularly at the walls and in the crawlspaces of a home.
  2. Keep your sink cabinets open – Opening your kitchen sink cabinets and bathroom vanities allows warm air from the room to circulate to those vulnerable areas. Keeping your cabinets closed can keep the outside cold from the walls inside of the cabinet.
  3. Turn your water on at a trickle pace – Open your faucet slightly to trickle water into your sink. Keeping the water flowing helps to prevent pipes freezing because the water doesn’t get an opportunity to stand and freeze and the running water melts any ice which may have accumulated.
  4. Heat trace wire – If pipes freeze in the areas which are not as accessible such as crawlspaces, attaching a heat trace wire to pipes can help. This wire plugs into an outlet and works thermostatically to turn on and off when the temperature changes. When turned on, it heats the pipe to keep it safe and secure.
  5. Add insulation – A little prevention can help save thousands. Have your pipes inspected by a professional plumber who can recommend and install insulation on vulnerable pipes.

If you want to prevent frozen pipes or if you need help because your pipes have frozen, give the expert plumbers at DRC Plumbing and Sewer a call  at 708-203-7057 where you’ll get $35 off any plumbing service.

Get a Free Estimate