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How To Avoid And Detect Frozen Pipes In Your Home This Winter

Every year, the city of Chicago shares info on how to avoid frozen pipes. And every year the weather in Chicago reminds people who the boss really is. 

The weather in Chicago will dip below 20 degrees every year, so every year there will be homes that suffer some frozen pipes. Therefore, it's important to know what steps to take to avoid frozen pipes. However, it's also important to know what to do should your pipes freeze.

If your pipes do freeze, use a heating pad, hair dryer, or warm air to thaw them. Do not use candles or any open flame, because you don't want to deal with fire restoration issues too. 

How to detect frozen pipes

The easiest way to tell if your pipes are frozen is turning on the water. If the water is not coming out of the faucet. Check the basement or lower levels for leaks and flooding, if you notice the water is not coming out of your faucets. If there are no leaks, make sure the water is on at the meter.  Inspect as many of your pipes as possible. Listen for running water behind your walls. There shouldn't be running water if the water isn't coming out of the faucets.

If do not notice any leaks, try to slowly and safely thaw the pipes. You may want to call a plumber for help so they can be there should you spring a leak. Plumbers in Chicago thaw a lot of frozen pipes every year. Hiring a plumber can also protect you with your insurance company should you spring a leak.

When do pipes freeze?

Water will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so any time it's freezing outside you have to start to think about protecting your pipes. However, the pipes in your home also have some protection against the cold. Your home should have some insulation against the cold, so you don't really have to worry until it hits 20 degrees for about 6 hours or more. When it is this cold outside, let your faucets drip to keep the water running a little bit.

6 things we can do to prevent frozen pipes in our home this winter

  1. Keep the faucet open just a little bit when it gets really cold outside. Just let the faucet drip slowly.
  2. Keep your cabinets open. Your cabinets can get a lot colder than the rest of the house so leaving the doors and drawers open will help.
  3. Make sure you don't feel cold air blowing into the house near your pipes. Check for holes, cracks, and crevices that you may need to seal for winter.
  4. Disconnect your outside hose and cover the out faucets outside with foam or something to block the wind and cold air.
  5. Keep the heat on. Many pipes freeze because homeowners or tenants are trying to save on their heat bill. If you keep your home at 50 to 60 degrees in the winter, you're asking for trouble.
  6. Blow warm air on your pipes. Using space heaters or fans to blow warm air onto your pipes can prevent them from freezing.

If you're in the greater Chicago area and you have water damage due to frozen pipes, Call (866) 575-5814 for help 24-7. We offer free estimates on all emergency water restoration calls.