During the winter months, temperatures can read below freezing for days at a time, causing a myriad of problems at commercial and residential properties. If you are a home or business owner and your plumbing system is not properly protected, you could end up with frozen or busted pipes. If you have not taken the proper precautions, your pipes could freeze, leaving you without water and / or potential watery mess on your hands if they break. Your best bet is to call a licensed, certified plumbing contractor in your area. Be sure to check out their credentials and ask for license and certification numbers. Also visit the company’s website to see if there are any customer testimonials and peruse their service offerings.

Typically a licensed plumbing contractor will examine the pipes throughout your house or business and locate the area where they need to begin de-thawing or deicing. This is a very tricky process that should only be performed by a professional plumbing company – it could be highly dangerous for an amateur or inexperienced, unlicensed plumber to attempt this process. There have been cases where homeowners have used blow dryers, torches, and other heating devices to de-thaw their pipes, only to end up starting a fire. A professional plumbing company has all the proper de-thawing equipment, materials, and safety gear needed to do the job correctly and efficiently. Once a professional plumbing team has properly heated up your pipes, they will provide you with some useful tips and recommendations to prevent this from happening in the future, such as:

Maintaining a high enough level on your thermostat – 60 degrees or higher is recommended, especially if you will be out of town for a few days.

Wrapping pipes with protective thermal wrap, especially those that are exposed to areas with cold fronts.

Ensuring your pipes are in good shape, and not corroded, free of holes and other imperfections.

If you do go on vacation or out of town, have a friend, neighbor, or relative check on your property periodically to make sure the temperature is OK and you don’t have frozen pipes.

Ask the plumbing company if they offer free inspections, because many do. It is always wise to have your pipes inspected annually, even before winter hits, to prevent the dangers of frozen pipes. They may discover you need to replace certain sections of piping, and if so, will advise you of your options. The bottom line is you need to be proactive about this problem, so you and your family and/or customers will not be without water and will be safe during the cold season.