Winter in Georgia: You either love it or hate it.
For most, it’s the season for bundling up and sipping hot cocoa. For homeowners, it’s the season of obsessively checking inside your cupboards to make sure your pipes haven’t frozen! After all, pesky freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your house! If they do freeze, don’t worry — there are a few tricks that can help bring them back to life.
You’ll need to do something fast, though, since frozen pipes can lead to major damage if not taken care of right away. So brush up on what you need to know during Georgia winters, and arm yourself with the proper supplies so you can thaw those pipes out without any headaches.
What Causes Your Pipes to Freeze?
Winter is a beauty in the Peach State. It’s often mild and a much-needed break from the long, hot summers. However, it can also bring a lot of frustration when temperatures drop and cause frozen pipes. They tend to freeze during especially cold temperatures when the water inside them is exposed to existing outdoor air.
Sometimes all it takes is one cold snap, and suddenly, you have no water whatsoever. And this is unfortunately all too familiar for many Georgia homeowners.
Because our winters can be mild one day and frigid the next, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to accidentally leave their pipes exposed to the elements. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this from happening in the future. Insulating and keeping them away from the chilly temps in unheated areas like attics, basements, and garages should keep you from running into any nasty surprises come wintertime. But what if they have already frozen?
What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze in GA
Winter’s chill can get the best of us Georgians sometimes. And our pipes are no exception. If they freeze, don’t panic! Luckily, there are some tips you can use to protect your home and solve this problem.
1. Turn Off the Water
Like with any other crisis, it’s important that you act fast! As soon as you suspect that your pipes may be freezing, immediately turn off the water flow so that when they eventually thaw out, you won’t have to worry about them bursting and creating greater havoc. Sure, it might not seem like a pleasant task, but it beats having to replace burst and damaged ones!
2. Direct Heat Toward the Freezing Point
One of the most popular and effective ways to thaw out an icy pipe is to take advantage of something you probably already have around the house — a space heater or even a more budget-friendly hair dryer! Don’t worry about being a science whiz either; it’s as easy as correctly pointing the heat source toward the frozen area. If a space heater or hair dryer is available, direct the heat toward the freezing point on the pipe for a few minutes until it starts to thaw out.
3. Call a Plumber
If DIY is not your thing, or if you’re not having success with the above-mentioned tips, then call a plumber. It is probably the fastest and safest way to address your home’s plumbing challenges in the winter. The only downside is that it will cost you.
4. Georgians Can Protect Themselves from Costly Repairs with Good Home Insurance
Protecting your home from the possibility of costly pipe repairs or other potential problems can be a difficult task. But getting good home insurance can offer you peace of mind and protection down the road if something unexpected happens. Even if you do your best to take preventative home maintenance measures, accidents can still happen and get expensive quickly. Letting an insurance policy take care of those potential outcomes can really ease your stress about major house damage in the future.
What NOT to Do If Your Pipes Freeze
So now that you know what to do if your pipes freeze, here’s what not to do.
1. Do Not Use an Open Flame Near the Pipe
Don’t try to unfreeze with an open flame! Not only is that a fire hazard but there are ways to safely and effectively thaw them out —trust us, it’s not worth putting yourself or your home at risk! Your best bet is to consider other methods, whether it be using warm air from a hair dryer or wrapping towels soaked in hot water around the affected pipe.
2. Don’t Wait for the Pipe to Thaw Naturally
If you think one of your pipes has frozen, don’t wait for it to thaw naturally! This can quickly lead to them bursting and expensive home repairs that may not be covered. If you lack experience in plumbing or have a particularly stubborn blockage, consider hiring a professional plumber to help out. Taking swift action now can prevent expensive damage later!
How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing in the First Place
If your pipes freeze in your Georgia home, you could be in for a real headache. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to protect your home. Insulation is key — wrap any exposed pipes with electric heat tape or foam insulation sleeves.
Keeping the heat in your home turned up will also help. If you don’t plan on being home during cold spells, set the thermostat accordingly or invest in a programmable model that adjusts automatically.
Additionally, if the temperature outside is expected to drop below freezing, open cabinets to let warm air circulate and leave faucets dripping so they never freeze and cause blockage. A little bit of running water — even a drip — should keep them from freezing.
Last but not least, make sure to monitor the weather in your region of the state with helpful tools like this one from the University of Georgia. You can view detailed weather reports from every weather station in the state so you can be sure to plan in advance. With these tactics combined and a bit of maintenance, you can keep any cold-weather damage to your home at bay.