So many home and business property owners needlessly experience frozen and burst pipes during cold weather. The resulting damages and financial losses can be quite painful, but following these simple, preventative steps is your first defence against frozen pipe leaks or bursts.

  • Have your home or building’s plumbing inspected for cold exposure prior to the cold weather season.
  • Adequately insulate floors, walls and ceilings to reduce cold penetration, or insulate or heat-wrap the piping.
  • Disconnect outdoor hoses that can freeze and potentially burst their connected indoor pipe.
  • Turn off the water supply valve to exterior faucets and open the exterior faucet fully to drain out residual water.
  • During very severe cold weather or when storms shut down interior heating, open interior faucets to a trickle of water to minimize the potential of pipes freezing.

When you detect that a pipe is leaking or has burst, first turn off the water supply if you can do so safely. Depending on how long the pipe was leaking, water may have soaked carpets, hardwood floors, drywall, insulation and ceilings. The contents of the structure – furniture, clothing, documents, electronics and equipment – may also be damaged. Prolonged wet conditions often lead to mould or other microbial growth, too.

Paul Davis suggests these prompt actions to avoid further damage. Thaw any leaking, frozen pipes so ice doesn’t further expand and burst the pipe. Try one or more of these techniques.

  • Open the closest faucet to ease pressure and to indicate when water is running again.
  • Wrap the frozen pipe in a towel and fasten with duct tape. Pour hot water on the towel and repeat until ice is thawed in the pipe.
  • Affix a rubber-lined sleeve clamp or use a piece of rubber or hose to wrap around the damaged pipe, and fasten with duct tape.

In case of water damage, contact Paul Davis — a licensed, professional cleanup and restoration company — who can professionally repair piping, eliminate the cause(s), remove water and protect against mould, and handle needed reconstruction work.