It’s always amusing for Minnesotans to search the Internet for home cold weather tips, discover advice suggesting that they cover exposed pipes and consider adding a heat line to pipes in a crawl space, and then see that the report is from a newspaper in North Carolina or Virginia. It’s true that the greatest percentage of frozen residential pipes occur in the South, especially in those areas where very cold temperatures rarely occur and building codes reflect moderate temperatures. Still, the result of a frozen pipe is the same whether you’re in the South or the North. You’ve got a wet mess, the risk of mold, probable damage to furnishings, and a spoiled winter season as you work your way through cleanup and reconstruction. In central Minnesota, ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca offers you the best option for water removal, water damage repair, and restoration.
It was just over a year ago that cities all across Minnesota were contending with frozen water mains and connecting lines, and homeowners were faced with two choices: running a slow stream of water constantly and running up their water bills or risking a frozen pipe. The lengthy subzero temperatures that wreaked havoc on heating bills also dropped the frost line, endangering water lines that were normally safe from extreme cold. With this in mind, here are the best steps you can take to prevent freezing pipes:
- Insulate all pipes near external walls, in attics, or in any place that may be prone to lower temperatures.
- Run water until it’s cold. If it’s colder than 45 degrees, you may be at risk for ice developing in the line.
- Raise the temperature with space heaters in areas of risk.
- Keep your house at least at 65 degrees on all floors.
- If you go away, even for a weekend, consider turning off your water and draining the lines.
- If ice develops in a line, make every effort to thaw it (studies show you could have a break in two to four hours otherwise), but don’t use an open flame of any kind.
- If your house is at risk for a frozen line, let both the hot and cold taps run a very small stream in a sink at the far side of the house from the entry pipe.
A higher water bill is probably a small price to pay compared to the costs of a flood in your basement or on your first floor. Some communities and areas offer help repaying water bills in such situations. If you find yourself with a broken pipe, turn off the water, call the plumber, and then contact ServiceMaster of Mankato and Waseca for water damage repair and flood disaster restoration.