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Did you know any pipe exposed to temperatures below 32°F for several hours runs the risk of freezing? Yes, that includes hot water lines! Pipes can freeze, swell, and then crack, leaving owners with costly flood damage.

The biggest areas at risk are unheated areas, such as in the basement, attic, garage, or crawl spaces. Pipes running along exterior walls with insufficient insulation are also at risk of freezing during the winter. A crack as small as 1/8-inch in a pipe can spray more than 250 gallons of water a day, causing expensive damage.

The average insurance claim for water damage from frozen pipes is about $10,000, according to estimates from State Farm Insurance. Also, depending on the policy terms, homeowner’s insurance may not cover the cost of repairing a burst pipe. It may pay only for the water damage. If that’s the case we work with an amazing water restoration company called Doan Restoration who not only can help with your water damage but will work directly with your insurance company as well!

What Are the Signs?

If a pipe is frozen, there is already about a 50% chance it has cracked, however, until the pipes start to thaw there’s know way to confirm a break. When you see they have started to thaw call ABC Plumbing for one of our licensed professionals immediately and here a few signs to look out for:

  • A bulge or crack in a pipe with ice seeping out is a clear indication of a burst pipe.
  • Frost covering a pipe – inside or outside of the home.
  • Whistling, banging, bubbling or any other strange sound coming from your pipes
  • Dampness, puddles, or rings on drywall or ceilings—signs of an urgent issue.
  • In some cases, the pipe may appear fine and a homeowner may not see any signs of small fractures caused by ice expansion.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

ABC Plumbing recommends the following steps to prevent frozen pipes from damaging your home or business.

  • Let water flow from all able fixtures within the home, even if it’s just a trickle. We recommend running water from both the hot and cold taps as hot water lines can freeze too.
  • Keep your thermostat set above 55° F. A constant circulation of warm air may help prevent burst pipes. 
  • Leaving cabinet doors open and if needed use a space heater to provide extra warmth to any pipes located on an exterior wall.
  • Drain and disconnect garden hoses before cold weather arrives and place insulated covers on all outdoor faucets.
  • Sleeves and seals: Seal cracks, holes, windows, doors, and other openings along the exterior walls with sealant, caulk, or insulation to prevent frigid air from penetrating the wall cavity.
  • On the interior, insulate and seal attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, and electric and mechanical chases.

In conclusion, ABC Plumbing has licensed plumbers who can help if you are experiencing frozen pipes or a busted pipe. We also provide emergency services after hours and weekends! Call us at 817-427-3222 anytime!