When temperatures plummet in Baltimore, the cold weather can pose a serious risk to your home’s plumbing system, especially polybutylene pipes.
It can be challenging to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. Protecting your home from harsh winter conditions takes a proactive approach.
United Air Temp is here to equip you with the solutions needed to effectively prevent burst pipes from happening and the knowledge of how to handle them if they do.
What To Do When Temperatures Drop Below Freezing
Water supply pipes are prone to bursting because water can freeze and expand, putting pressure on the pipe joints. Old pipes made of outdated materials are particularly at risk because they’re weakened by corrosion.
Here are a few strategies for preparing your pipes for winter nights when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit:
- Drip faucets: Moving water is less likely to freeze. Turn on all your sink faucets to allow a steady drip.
- Open under-sink cabinets: Leaving your cabinet doors open allows air to circulate and warm your pipes.
- Close garage doors: Shield any exposed plumbing pipes from cold outdoor air by closing your garage doors.
- Turn off your water if you’re going out of town: Shutting off your main water supply can save you from returning to a plumbing disaster if you leave town for an extended period and there’s a risk of freezing temperatures.
Long-Term Solutions To Prevent Frozen Pipes
While those simple solutions offer short-term frozen or burst pipe prevention, you need to implement long-term solutions to protect your home from the Maryland winter climate. We recommend the following tips:
- Keep your heat above 55 degrees Fahrenheit: Maintaining consistent indoor temperatures above 55 degrees ensures your home is warm enough to prevent plumbing freezes.
- Insulate your pipes: Investing in pipe insulation for areas like crawl spaces, unfinished basements, garages, or attics can help shield your plumbing pipes from extreme temperatures.
- Winterize your hose bibbs in the fall: Don’t forget your spigots this winter. After draining and disconnecting your outdoor hose, install covers to protect your outdoor faucets.
- Replace outdated piping materials: Polybutylene, lead, cast iron, and galvanized steel pipes are prone to premature deterioration and should be replaced to ensure reliable pipes throughout your home.
How To Thaw Frozen Pipes
When you have frozen pipes, it’s important to act promptly to prevent them from bursting.
It’s important never to use an open flame to thaw your pipes. Open flames can cause permanent damage and lead to fire hazards or toxic fumes. If you need to thaw your pipes:
- Turn off the main water shut-off valve
- Turn on the faucets to release excess pressure in the pipes
- Heat your pipes using a hair dryer, space heater, or hot towels
- Call an emergency plumber if the pipes don’t thaw easily or start to leak
What To Do if a Pipe Bursts
Despite your best efforts, there are instances where your pipes freeze and burst. This can result from an extreme drop in temperature, weak pipe materials, or other issues. Whatever the cause, being prepared when your pipes burst can help you save time and prevent further damage to your home and plumbing.
In the unfortunate event of a burst pipe, remain calm and follow these steps:
- Shut off the main water supply: Prevent further damage or flooding by turning the water shut-off valve clockwise. It should be located near where the water line enters your home or at the water meter.
- Shut off power in the affected area: Flip the circuit breaker in your electrical panel. This mitigates the risk of electric shock.
- Retrieve any belongings: If you have storage containers, furniture, or other items near the burst pipe, carefully remove them to prevent excessive water damage.
- Call a plumber: You need a trusted emergency plumber for quick and efficient pipe repairs.
Choose UAT for Pipe Repair or Replacement in Your Maryland Home
At United Air Temp, we’re dedicated to keeping you comfortable and warm all winter long with comprehensive plumbing services, including water supply piping repair and replacement and whole-home repiping.
Turn to our highly trained plumbers for prompt and effective solutions when your pipes burst. With upfront pricing, quality craftsmanship, and a written report of the work performed, you can count on our plumbers to restore your plumbing pipes with complete confidence.
Schedule burst pipe repair or replacement in Maryland when you call United Air Temp at (410) 525-4265!