Arctic temps in the next week can cause Frozen Pipes in your home or business, in Scarsdale, NY 10583!
Along with our American Red Cross (ARC) partners, we want you to be prepared and informed, so you can avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes.
We are national and regional ARC partners for fundraising and blood drives. Often, we respond to flood, fire and water damaged homes and businesses throughout Westchester County and The Bronx, as ARC volunteers help the victims.
If you have a flood, be sure to stay out of a basement that has rising water near your outlets or melting frozen pipes near a breaker box (electric). Call in certified flood cleanup crews -- our teams are staff members and are background checked, so that's good too -- in homes with kids and your valued belongings! Not all cleanup companies are created equal.
Restoration is done after the freeze, when your water pipes warm up and start to thaw after LOW overnight temperatures. That's when you can have water everywhere in either your attic, an upstairs bathroom and down the stairs from a with a sink on an exterior wall, or in your finished basement.
Flood cleanup companies like ours have seen frozen water pouring out of exterior openings, like your windows and doors -- see the tudor home above, or the flooded, frozen garage. These are extreme, but if you have this happy, prevent MOLD and call in paid, trained pros to help you safely clean up.
Here are our suggestions on how to prevent water pipes in your home, business or properties, as far south as Florida, from freezing -- during these bitter winter temps. Also, we offer ideas on how to thaw them if they do freeze.
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the "strength" of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
** Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Before days of freezing weather can impact your property's water pipes, the following recommendations can help prevent a top down flood from pipes bursting in your attic, or in a wet basement / lower level:
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. These are the metal pipes above you in an unfinished basement, if they are not already wrapped in an insulating material.
- If it's going down to the 20s or teens and you have no time to get to Scarsdale Hardware for insulating wrap, here's an alternative. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes until you can get to a hardware store – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing. Wrap a paper around your pipes in an attic or basement and use duct or masking tape.
During Cold Weather, Take Preventative Action
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in your attached OR detached garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- On artic overnights, you can leave a COLD WATER drip on upstairs, or at the furthest sink away from your main water source from the city/street. Don't use a hot water drip, as it's expensive and unnecessary, especially if you want a warm morning shower! SLOW drip...drip...drip, to keep water moving vs. freezing in all of your pipes throughout your property.
Forrest and I hope you never need us for a flood, or have to get help from any qualified restoration folks. That's why I offer "Helpful Home Safety Tips from Hillary" -- like this one. Be warm, watch out for frostbite at night next week, walking your dog, like our guy, Atlas, and remember to wrap any exposed pipes as temps stay below freezing this week everyone!
Happy New Year, Scarsdale & all in 10583 ~ from all of us at Servpro of Scarsdale...!