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How to Prepare for Possible Frozen Pipes in Arizona This Winter

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The Phoenix, AZ area has mild winters so most people who live in the area don’t consider the effects winter weather can have on their home.  While the temperatures are mild through most of the winter, there is always a chance it can drop below freezing at night in the Valley.  The below freezing temperatures increase the risk of certain problems associated with winters elsewhere, including frozen pipes.

Freezing temperatures may only occur in the Phoenix area on 12 to 15 days each winter, but just once is enough to cause water in your pipes to freeze.  The pipes in Phoenix area homes may also be highly susceptible to freezing because homes in the area are not as insulated as homes in other areas of the U.S. that experience harsh winters.  Just one frozen pipe can cause a burst that spills up to 10 gallons of water per minute and cause serious damage in your home, making it important for Phoenix area residents to take some steps to prevent frozen pipes.

In this guide, we will cover the steps you should take to prevent frozen pipes in your home in the Phoenix, AZ area.  If a burst pipe or anything else causes water damage in your home this winter, make sure you call our professionals at ServiceMaster All Care Restoration to provide effective water damage restoration.

Frozen Pipe Prevention Tips

As the winter season approaches the Valley of the Sun, it is important for area residents to take the following steps to help prevent frozen pipes:

  • Insulate pipes: Chances are that you have pipes in your home that are in uninsulated areas such as under your home or within walls. The pipes, bibs, valves, and faucets need to be insulated to prevent the water inside them from freezing.  You can insulate pipes using towels, blankets, and newspapers as well as heated tape insulation.  You should also look for and seal cracks in areas where there are uninsulated pipes.
  • Let water drip: One way you can help prevent your pipes from freezing is to let the water run at a trickle. Turning your faucet on the slightest bit will keep water moving through the pipes which makes it less likely to freeze.  You should turn all of your faucets to a trickle for nights when the temperature drops below freezing.
  • Shut off outside water: The water system outside your home should be shut off for the winter to prevent these pipes and faucets from freezing. When you shut off the outside water, make sure you also empty and bring in garden hoses.
  • Check your pipes: It is beneficial to check your pipes routinely during the winter, especially those in uninsulated areas, so you can notice any leaks, bulges, or frost that could become a problem.
  • Shut off water for vacations: If you are leaving your house for more than a few days this winter, it is probably best to shut off the water within your home. With the water shut off, you will not have to worry about your pipes freezing and bursting while you are gone, no matter how cold it gets.  Just make sure to run your faucets after shutting off the water to empty the pipes.

How to React to Frozen and Burst Pipes

While the steps outlined above can reduce the risk of frozen and burst pipes in your home, there is still a chance this could happen.  You need to take the following actions if you have a frozen or burst pipe in your home:

  • Thaw the pipe: When a pipe freezes, it is at high risk of bursting because the ice within the pipe causes pressure. If a pipe has a large bulge or is covered in ice or frost, it is likely frozen.  To thaw the pipe, turn the faucet attached to the pipe on to a trickle and use a hair dryer to slowly thaw the frozen area.  You should not use an open flame or any other heating source to thaw the pipe as other methods may be ineffective or dangerous.
  • Shut off the water: A burst pipe can spill 10 gallons of water per minute which can really flood your home and cause significant damage. If a pipe in your home bursts, you must immediately shut off the water at the main shut-off valve.  You can shut off the water to your home at the water meter if you cannot get to the emergency shut-off valve.
  • Call a plumber: The burst pipe will either need to be repaired or replaced. You need to call a plumber to inspect the damage to your pipes and make the necessary repairs.
  • Call for water damage restoration: While a plumber can fix or replace burst pipes, they cannot restore the damage caused by the water. Professionals like ServiceMaster All Care Restoration can remove the water and moisture from the affected areas and thoroughly clean and restore the damaged materials.

Call ServiceMaster All Care Restoration for Water Damage Restoration

Do not let yourself be caught off guard by frozen or burst pipes.  Just because Phoenix has mild winters, that does not mean your pipes can’t freeze when the temperature drops at night.  Following the tips outlined above will help prevent frozen pipes and limit the damage if a pipe in your home happens to burst.

Water damage from leaks, flooding, and burst pipes can happen any time, but our professionals at ServiceMaster All Care Restoration are here to help.  We provide complete water damage restoration in which we will remove the excess water using advanced water extraction and drying equipment.  Our technicians are also equipped to repair the resulting damage after removing the water and moisture.

You can reach us at (623) 486-0700 for more about our water damage restoration services.