What to Do When Your Pipes Freeze in Charlotte

The winter months can be harsh. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to stay warm during these months only for your pipes to freeze and potentially burst. United Water Restoration Group of Charlotte knows that pipes freezing aren’t as uncommon as some may think.

It has happened to many people before, and it will continue to happen. Frozen pipes are the worst nightmare of renters or homeowners whose landlords aren’t taking care of them during the coldest months. To help with your winter worries, here are some ways that you can prevent your pipes from freezing so you don’t have any surprises this winter. 

United Water Restoration Group of Charlotte would like to go over what to do when your pipes freeze in Charlotte, North Carolina. We want to provide you with important information regarding this topic! 


What Causes Pipes to Freeze?

There are different things that can help to cause your pipes to freeze. A frozen pipe is a frightening thing. They can burst and lead to a lot of damage to your walls, flooring, and more. Your pipes will freeze when they get cold enough outside to form ice within them. Pipes freeze because of harsh, continuous temperatures that happen during winter. It’s not just temperature, though, as windchill plays a massive role in pipes freezing in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Certain areas of your home might not be as well insulated as others, so there might be a chance that parts of your home aren’t protected from the intense cold outside. The basement is another place where you need to monitor due to its nature and how it connects with outdoor pipes. 


How Long Does it Take For Pipes to Freeze?

If your home is in an area where the temperature dips below freezing for a long period of time, then you must monitor your pipes to preserve their integrity. Pipes could freeze if it’s below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for just a little while, but once temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit or less you will need to watch out. As soon as it reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit outside, that means your pipes are at risk.

However, this process can take anywhere from 6-8 hours for a full freeze. This time can be cut or extended depending on certain things, like windchill and insulation.  The wind chill factor will lower the amount of time it takes for your pipes to freeze, and insulation can make a large impact on how quickly they freeze. So if you have a really big house that is not well insulated, then you might find yourself with frozen pipes in some areas faster than others.


What Are The Signs of Frozen Pipes?

You will likely know if your pipes have frozen. You’ll hear the water inside of the pipe hit against the sides of the pipe, making a sound similar to rain hitting an umbrella. The sloshing sound is followed by trickling water, which will get more and more intense depending on how badly your pipes are frozen. 

Depending on what part of your home you are near or in when this happens, this may be enough to wake you up at night. If you’re lucky, look for cracks in exterior wall paint or ceiling paint near where the pipes are located. Or just listen outside for it.

There are other signs that could point towards the possibility of frozen pipes, like visually spotting damage. In this case, your pipes are damaged and will cause further damage if not addressed quickly. 


Do Frozen Pipes Always Burst?

No, not always. It all depends on the severity of the temperature and how quickly they receive heat after being exposed to it. 

If you notice your pipes have been frozen and there is a lot of ice built up around the area, a burst pipe may be in your future. However, if the ice has only started to build up and it’s still easy for you to move, chances are they will not burst right away.

If you catch your frozen pipes in time, you can prevent them from bursting. To do this, turn the heat up in your home to at least 55°F or higher. You can also try leaving a lamp on in that room if it’s dark when the heat kicks on – this may help stop damage before it happens.




Will My Pipes Thaw On Their Own? 

The good news is that your pipes may thaw on their own if you have a sufficient source of heat in the area. This being said, it really depends on how much ice has built up and whether or not they are partially or fully frozen. To prevent your pipes from bursting, leave the heat on to keep them from freezing again. If it’s safe for you to do so, wait until the middle of the day when there is warmer air outside so you can turn down the temperature inside temporarily.

Alternatively, if you know that burst pipes could result in serious damage to your property, don’t hesitate to call professionals. Like us at United Water Restoration Group of Charlotte, we can assist you in returning your property back to a state of normalcy! 


How Can I Prevent Frozen Pipes?

If you have frozen pipes, we highly recommend contacting a plumbing company to assist you. While these situations may be unavoidable at times due to unforeseen circumstances. However, there are ways to help reduce the odds of these damages. Here are a few ways or things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing at your property:


Disconnect Hoses

If you are expecting harsh temperatures, you should disconnect all hoses that are outside to help drain water from the area. A hose bib can prevent water from being released, this can cause damage to the device as well as to your pipes and spout. 


Open Your Cabinets 

Closed cabinets at your home can prevent warmer air from reaching your pipes. Your kitchen sink is likely facing the outside, meaning it is more susceptible to colder temperatures. Opening your cabinets can assist as warm air flows through them. 


Monitor Your Property’s Temperature

In order for your pipes to freeze, the temperature needs to reach below freezing. Keeping your property nice and warm can help combat harsh temperatures. Doing this could help you prevent a pipe freeze as the water lines will be protected. Alternatively, you can place space heaters and insolation specifically over pipes to prevent freezing. 


Keep Your Water Running 

You don’t have to keep every single faucet on at 100% power. Keeping a few key faucets running continuously with warm water can help push water through your pipes, preventing any stagnation and freezing. Using warmer water can keep the pipes warmer than the temperatures outside. 


Install Heat Tape 

If you are able to access your pipes and know inclement weather is coming, heat tape can greatly assist you in preventing your pipes from freezing. Heat tape’s design was intended to be wrapped around pipes to prevent frozen pipes. Applying this tape can be easy enough, but if your pipes are behind walls, it can be tricky and may require professional assistance. 


What To Do When Your Pipes Freeze

If you are experiencing frozen pipes, the first thing you need to do is turn off the main water valve. This will prevent the pipes from bursting and flooding your property with hundreds of gallons of water in a matter of minutes. 

Your next step after this should be to contact professionals for assistance, especially if you have standing water. United Water Restoration Group of Charlotte can assist you if you are experiencing frozen pipes in Charlotte, North Carolina. We can help return your property back to a state of normalcy. 

Experiencing freezing pipes in Charlotte, North Carolina? Contact our service line at (704) 448-0799 to get in direct contact with one of our trained technicians! 

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