What Causes Frozen Pipes?

When outdoor temperatures drop below freezing the water inside pipes can freeze. When freezing water expands the pressure inside the pipes can increase. Increasing pressure can cause pipes to burst.
Preventing frozen pipes:

  • Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces. These areas are at greater risk of freezing.
  • Seal any air leaks near pipes.
  • Turn off water to exterior faucets and disconnect all outdoor hoses.
  • During the night allow a small trickle of water to run.
  • If you need to be away from home, leave the heat set at 55 or above on and drain your water system before you go

What to do when pipes freeze:

  • Open all faucets
  • Wrap pipes in rags
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
  • Place a space heater in the crawl to warm pipes
  • Know the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the water if a pipe bursts

If pipes burst:

  • Shut off the water immediately
  • Try and contain water spread as much as possible
  • Soak up any standing water with towels
  • Place a fan on the area to start drying
  • Take an inventory of any damaged property or possessions
  • Contact ServiceMaster South of the James 24/7 for emergency water mitigation services to properly dry out the damaged area and prevent further loss