Do you remember Virginia's extended arctic freeze in 2019? Those frigid January temperatures resulted in over two hundred NNINS home insurance claims from frozen and burst pipes. The most common symptom of a frozen pipe is the absence of water or less water flowing when you turn on your faucet. When your pipe is frozen pressure builds. You want to take action quickly to try to save your pipe from bursting.
The First Thing to Do if You Think Your Pipe is Frozen
First, locate your water main. You'll need to know how to turn off your home's water in case of a rupture. That will prevent a big mess, not to mention costly water damage to your home. Move any items away from the area where the pipe is located. That will clear the area for you to get to work and protect those items from water damage. Read on for steps to take to keep your pipes from bursting.
Steps to Thaw a Frozen Pipe
- Call a licensed plumber if you're unsure which pipe is frozen or your power is out.
- Completely open with both hot and cold water supplies.
- Turn up your heat.
- Open the cabinet doors around the pipes.
- Avoid using an open flame. You may damage the pipe or start a fire.
- Use a hairdryer, heat lamp, space heater, or warm towels from the dryer on the pipe.
- Check other pipes in uninsulated areas or pipes located on exterior walls and try to increase warm airflow to them.
- Call a licensed plumber if these steps do not open your pipe within 30-45 minutes.
- Once your pipes are open, take measures to prevent frozen pipes again.
What to do if Your Water Pipe Ruptures
If your pipe ruptures, you can file a home insurance claim. First, take steps to limit water damage to your home.
- Turn the main water off to your home.
- Shut off the power main if you think any water may have come in contact with electrical appliances.
- Call a licensed plumber.
- Ask the plumber how to protect your water heater.
- Take pictures before you clean up or throw anything away.
- Call your independent agent or contact us to file a claim.
- For minor water damage, take measures to dry things out quickly to prevent mold growth.
- For major flooding contact a water damage cleanup company.
- Save all receipts and speak to your adjuster before doing major repairs.
- Once repaired, take measures to prevent them from freezing again.