Do Not Learn About Frozen Pipes the Hard Way
If you get deep, winter freezes in Brooklyn, NY, you’re probably already an expert. You know what areas of your home are the most susceptible. You know what to do in those areas to prevent pipe and water damage. Your action plan is in place. When the meteorologists warn of a hard freeze, you are ready,
Every action plan has some common elements.
- Turn on all faucets so that they are just trickling. The theory is that moving water doesn’t freeze.
- Expose your pipes to warmth. Open cupboards and closet doors. If possible, warm up pipes in uninsulated areas.
- Closely monitor your home. Make sure the faucets continue trickling. Be ready to act in the event of a problem.
Despite your best efforts, there may still be situations where you end up with damage due to frozen pipes.
When They Break, Follow These Steps
- Put a bucket under the leak and shut off the water. There should be a shutoff that controls the flow of water into that pipe. Turn that shutoff immediately or, to be safe, shut off the main.
- Eliminate the standing water as quickly as possible. A wet vac works well in this situation. If you caught the leak quickly, a little do-it-yourself cleanup would do the job. If the water damage is substantial, consider bringing in flood remediation specialists to address the problem.
- Fix the broken pipe. First, be sure that the pipe is no longer frozen. Repair it if your plumbing skills are up to it. Patch it if you have the materials and a bit of know-how. Otherwise, call your plumber or that friend who knows how to do everything.
If You Are Vigilant and Prepared, Frozen Pipes Are Only a Nuisance
When the temperature plummets, follow your action plan. If you still end up with a problem, be ready to minimize the damage and make repairs. All that stands between a small problem and a catastrophe is you.