How to Prevent Frozen Pipes and Avoid Water Damage

One of the most interesting qualities of water is that it expands when it freezes. Unfortunately, this unique characteristic can wreak havoc on your plumbing.  Allowing water to freeze and expand inside your pipes can lead to a tremendous buildup of pressure, eventually causing your pipes to burst.


By learning how to avoid frozen pipes, you can save yourself from dealing with severe water damage.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Before the harsh cold of winter sets in there are a few important steps to take to reduce the possibility that you’ll deal with a frozen pipe, including:


  • Investigate your home and determine whether there are areas that are not being heated properly and are significantly colder than the rest of the home. Insulate any water pipes located in the area.
  • Make sure to drain all water from swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines.
  • Close the indoor valves that supply your outdoor spigots, and then keep the outdoor spigots open and allow them to drain completely.
  • If any water pipes are located in your garage, keep the garage door closed whenever possible.
  • When the temperatures outside drops below freezing, let water drip from your faucets at all times; keeping even a small amount of water moving through your pipes significantly reduces the possibility of freezing.
  • Never allow the temperature in your home to drop below 55 degrees.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

If you’re only getting a small trickle of water from your faucet, chances are you’re dealing with a frozen pipe.  Here are some simple ways to thaw your frozen pipe before it bursts:


  • Heat the pipe using a portable space heater, electric blanket, or hair drier.
  • Keep the water running.  As the frozen pipe begins to melt, water will flow through the frozen area and help melt the ice.
  • If you have one frozen pipe, you’re likely to have more. Check every faucet in your home and attempt to locate all of the frozen pipes in your home. If you can’t locate the frozen pipe, call a licensed plumber before it bursts and causes water damage.


If you’ve already experienced a burst pipe, it’s important to contact a local water damage restoration service to avoid structural damage and mold. DryMedic® is Michigan’s leading restoration service. Our professional team is available 24/7 to quickly return your property back to its original condition.