Brrrr….. Baby it’s cold outside! The snow is coming down, and the weather is downright cold. Frozen pipes are no fun, and can be costly! Your best bet is to be well prepared and to take steps to prevent frozen pipes; and in the event that pipes do freeze, you need to know what to do; and fast.

So, here is what happens; the water in your pipes (whether they are metal or plastic) expands putting pressure on the pipes. The expansion causes the pipes to break; then when thawing occurs, water will leak or spray all around, most likely causing water damage along with the destruction of the ruptured pipes. Usually, this is limited to exposed pipes during extremely cold periods. Things like your hose outdoors, sprinklers, pipes in unheated out buildings or basements, swimming pool lines, or any pipe that runs along outside walls are at risk.

Prevention tips that you can use prior to cold weather arriving include: draining hoses and lines that run outdoors and shutting off their valves; checking for other areas where pipes may freeze in basements, crawl spaces, garages etc… and install insulation around them (even wrapping newspaper around pipes can give some protection); or installing UL-listed heat tape or cable. Also, avoid using antifreeze if you can, it is environmentally harmful and dangerous to properties, plants, animals, and humans.

During the winter you should keep the door to your garage closed when possible to keep it warmer. You may also want to open cabinets where there are pipes to allow for circulation and make sure you do not lower your thermostat at night during cold spells. Also, during extremely cold conditions, keep a slight drip of cold water trickling in your faucets to keep water moving.

You will recognize frozen pipes when you turn on your faucet and the water will only trickle out. Investigate to find where the frozen pipe is. Start by looking at pipes that run along outside walls. Once you have found it, leave that faucet on and apply heat to the pipe that is frozen. You can use an electric heating pad, hair dryer, or space heater; but be safe! Do not use blowtorches, kerosene, propane, charcoal, or other open-flame or chemical emitting type devices. Keep applying heat until the water returns to a full run. Of course, if things are not improving, you have difficulty finding the frozen pipes, or if pipes do, indeed, burst, you should call a professional, licensed plumber. They can help you safely thaw pipes, fix broken ones, and help you to prevent frozen pipes in the future.

Now you know what to do if you face frozen pipes, but do you know what to do if you need new, energy-efficient doors and windows to help prevent those pipes from freezing? The first and last step for energy efficient windows and doors is to call or stop by a Window Nation’s showroom. Window Nation is the replacement window experts. We help homeowners find the best product to suit their needs. If it is windows and doors that you need, we are the company for you. To find out how Window Nation can help keep your home energy efficient give us a call today.