Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to Fix a Frozen Pipe

As I watch the weather on the news I am constantly seeing words like "Arctic Blast" and "Polar Vortex"  scrolling across the screen all with subzero temperatures in the flashing up in the negatives and the they flash the wind chill which is even colder. The weather guy looks about as excited as a kid on Christmas. While I think that playing the name game with every new storm,  closing major roadways in Long Island and the 24/7 coverage of the upcoming inch of snow and negative temps  is a little overkill, there is still a concern for the safety of people and pets. And yet, out of all of the news reports, what was disheartening was that I only saw one report talking about preventing frozen pipes.

What Can I Do To Prevent My Pipes From Freezing?

It is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent your property from becoming the next coolest ice sculpture, especially if you  have a home or business space which is not occupied during these frigid temps.

Why do pipes burst? When frozen water expands and pipes will cracks and can eventually burst. Whether you have copper or even the new plastic piping it doesn't matter, this can still happen. In these temperatures, you run the risk of your pipes cracking and having water leaking all over your property if you are not taking precautions and leave your heat at 65 degrees.  If you have sprinklers throughout the buildings of a business or an apartment complex it is even more imperative that you take precautions to keep the heat running during this time.  If you rent and know the apartment above you is empty, give your landlord a call to make sure the heat is on upstairs. Trust me, I have seen firsthand a huge mess when an upstairs apartment has a pipe bust. Your entire home or business will be ruined from water damage.  Another tip to prevent freezing is to keep the water running, even at just a trickle.

"I didn't listen to you & now my pipes are frozen - now what?"

When you have frozen pipes follow the first rule - DO NOT USE A BLOW TORCH OR OTHER OPEN FLAME! If you don't listen and thaw your pipes with a blow torch, you run the risk of the exterior or interior walls catching fire. Then you have a much bigger problem on your hands!

While monitoring it, you can use a small space heater  or a hair dryer - not unsupervised. You can also use warm water and run this around the pipes, or down the pipes. You can also use a device made for thawing pipes specifically.

If you want more information on how to protect you and your family this winter season, call us at 888-565-2212. We specialize in Long Island home insurance and New York Business insurance. Stay warm out there and try to stop watching all of the crazy weather updates.