Skip to content

Winter wreaks havoc on homes in a number of ways, but one of the most common (and typically avoidable!) disasters is frozen pipes.

Pipes that freeze and burst can cause significant damage, and the repairs can cost thousands. Fortunately, preventing frozen pipes is a lot easier than dealing with the aftermath.

How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

When your pipes freeze, even if they don’t burst, you’re immediately cut off from the water you need for drinking, cooking, showering, doing laundry and more. If they burst, you could be without water even longer, and a burst pipe could cause significant damage to your home and possessions.

Here’s what you need to do to prevent frozen pipes in your home:

Steps to Take Before the Temperature Drops

  • Foam insulation tubes are available at any hardware store. They’re extremely affordable and easy to install. Before the temperature drops, use them to insulate your pipes, especially in parts of your home without heat, such as garages, crawl spaces and unfinished basements.
  • If you aren’t using insulation, heat tape is an effective alternative. If you’re going this route, be sure to follow the instructions carefully, any only use heat cables that have earned the UL seal of approval.
  • Look for spots where cold air may be able to enter your home, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. If you locate any gaps or cracks, fill them using expanding spray foam, caulk or loose insulation.

When Cold Weather Strikes

  • Set your thermostat at 55 degrees or warmer, even if you aren’t home.
  • Open your kitchen bathroom cabinets, especially those that are underneath sinks. With the cabinets open, warm air from you home can circulate are the pipes and prevent them from freezing.
  • On cold nights, leave some water running. Even a trickle can prevent ice crystals from forming in the lines.

What to Do if Your Pipes Do Freeze

Frozen pipes are a plumbing emergency, even if they haven’t burst. They can burst at any time, so it’s important to get them thawed out right away. You should never use an open flame to thaw your pipes. If your pipes are frozen or burst, your safest bet is to call a professional. At Neerings Plumbing & Heating, we’re here to help with frozen pipes in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas. If you need a Salt Lake City emergency plumber, call 801-467-3951.