Frozen water pipes can be an inconvenience at best and a disaster at worst for your East End or North Fork, LI home, causing problems that range from structural damage to mold growth.
But with a little care and attention paid to your plumbing and heating systems, you can prevent frozen pipes – or at least reduce the impact of them once they happen.
Here are some keys to preventing and dealing with frozen pipes in your Long Island home this winter.
Offseason / early season prep
- Insulate pipes in exposed areas (garage, attic, crawl space, etc.).
- Seal air leaks near pipes (near dryer vents, inlets, etc.).
- Shut off and drain water from outdoor pipes and faucets.
On sub-freezing days and nights
- Run a trickle of warm water overnight from the faucet furthest from your water heater, especially when temps drop below 20°F.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks.
If you have an unoccupied seasonal home
- Winterize your home before leaving it for the season.
- Keep your thermostat set for a minimum of 55°F.
- Ask a neighbor to check your home during cold snaps.
- Follow all directions for “before a cold snap” above.
- Consider hiring Burt’s Reliable to look in on your home in the offseason.
If your water pipes freeze
- Safety first – never operate an electrical appliance in standing water, and never use an open flame to thaw pipes.
- You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with a hair dryer; start by warming the pipe close to the faucet, working toward the coldest section of pipe. If that doesn’t fix the problem, contact us for plumbing service immediately.
If your water pipes burst
- Turn off water at the main shutoff valve in the house; teach everyone in your family where the water shutoff valve is and how to close it.
- Contact a plumber immediately.
For service on frozen pipes and other expert emergency plumbing services in any season, trust the pros at Burt’s Reliable. Contact us today to learn more about our plumbing and vacation home services.