What To Do When Pipes Freeze

Imagine pulling into your driveway, open your garage door and water comes pouring out. Upon searching your home, you find your pipes had frozen and subsequently burst. The disaster that nobody wants to experience has struck. You’re immediately thrown into a panic-stricken state and cannot even begin to comprehend where you start or what you should do. We have a few pointers to help you know steps to take:

  1. Shut off the main water supply to your house. By shutting off the main water supply at the main water valve, you have eliminated additional water pouring into your house. It’s good for all homeowners to know where their main water valve is located around your house. Knowing where the valve is located allows for you to quickly access and shut off water, rather than spending time searching for the valve. It’s also worth having a plumber inspect the water valve at any point in the year to make sure the valve isn’t sticking and will work properly.
  2. Call a disaster restoration company, like ServiceMaster Elite, to help with the dry out process. Just because you cleaned up the water, does not mean the structure of the house is dry. Not completely drying the structure of the house can lead to secondary damage and a larger headache than you already had. Disaster restoration companies that specialize in water damage cleanup have the proper tools & equipment to determine exactly where the water has traveled and to be able to cleanup the water. Most disaster restoration companies will work directly with your insurance. This can help to alleviate the nightmare of mediating between insurance and a water mitigation company.
  3. Call your insurance company, for most policies, pipe burst have been known to be covered by insurance companies. You don’t have to navigate this disaster alone, and your insurance company is there to help you from mitigation of the house to the repairs of the house.
  4. Call a plumber to determine which pipes have burst and to repair the pipes. While upon initial inspection, only a single pipe burst was found, it’s possible that more than one pipe has burst. It’s best to have a plumber inspect the house and drain the water from all pipes to ensure proper repairs are completed.
  5. Call an electrician, if water is running through electricity or electrical outlets, it is highly important to take proper precautions to ensure your house is safe for entering.
  6. Take preventative steps to protect your home in the future. We would assume that once you have lived through this ordeal, you would not want to experience it again. Now’s the time to “winterize” your home. Utilize heat tape or pipe sleeves to any exposed pipes throughout the house. Add insulation to rooms with pipes to avoid them from dipping too cold. Find the pin hole leaks that are allowing cold air into the pipes. Don’t forget to open cabinet doors and allow extra warmth to reach your pipes on the nights well below freezing.

Ultimately, just remember to breathe and try to remain calm. At ServiceMaster Elite, we understand your life is completely upside down. We are here to help in a time of uncertainty. We have crews available 24/7 to arrive at your house and begin the process of drying out or restoring order.  Also, checkout the post on How To Prevent Frozen Pipes.  


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