Why should you be concerned with freezing pipes? 

When water freezes, it expands. This expansion puts pressure on pipes and can cause them to break. It is important to recognize frozen pipes before they break and cause more damage.  

Which pipes should you watch? 

Any pipes that are exposed to severe cold or outdoors need to be checked regularly. Other water supply pipes that are in unheated areas, like basements, crawl, spaces, attics, garages, kitchen cabinets or pipes that run against exterior walls with little or no insulation should also be checked.  

How can you protect your pipes? 

  • Drain water from exterior pipes prior to cold weather hitting 
  • Remove, drain and store hoses used outdoors 
  • Add insulation around them 
  • Consider installing products made to insulate water pipes 

Other ways to prevent freezing 

  • If you have water supply lines in your garage, keep the door closed as much as possible 
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors so warmer air is able to circulate 
  • When it gets very cold, let water drip from the faucet. Even a trickle helps prevents freezing 
  • Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and at night 
  • If you are going away, do not set your temperature below 55,  and leave your heat on  

You find your pipes frozen, how can you thaw them? 

  • Keep the faucet open. As the water beings to melt it will flow through the frozen area and help melt the rest of the ice. 
  • Apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe. You can use an electric heating pad to wrap it, an electric hair dryer or a portable space heater. 
  • Check all your other faucets to make sure they are not also frozen.  

Taking some easy steps for routine home maintenance and being aware of your pipes can help you avoid expensive damage. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to make sure you are properly covered.