In Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana, freezing cold weather typically lasts only a few days. A cold front will move through from the north and then we’ll return to moderate temperatures in the following days. When these blasts of cold arrive, you need to prepare your plumbing to prevent bigger issues.
Here's what we recommend:
On exterior walls, or in areas of your house that do not get a lot of heat, let your hot and cold faucets drip overnight, and open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach uninsulated pipes under sinks.
Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
Use foam or wrap insulation (available from plumbing supply and home improvement stores) to protect outside faucets and pipes from freezing. Inspect your existing insulation, especially in areas that are exposed to the elements. Temporary insulation (towels, blankets, newspaper, etc.) is better than nothing.
Check your property for all exposed pipes that carry water. This includes outdoor faucets, bibs and valves. Seal all areas that allow cold outside air to get in where pipes are located.
If you're going away for an extended period of time, be sure to maintain adequate heat inside your home at no lower than 55 degrees.
Don't use a space heater to heat your pipes. But, if you do, insure it is not close to anything flammable. A space heater should be at least three feet from anything combustible.
Locate the water shut-off valve in your home in advance of a water emergency, so you know where to go if a pipe bursts.
Program your local utility contact information into your cell phone now, before you need them.
If you have a frozen pipe, here are a few things to be aware of:
First and foremost, be patient, there is no quick fix.
Any area that is exposed to the outdoors is the likely point where a freeze took place. There may also be more than one frozen spot.
Pipes need to gradually warm up. A quick warm up is not recommended and may lead to further damage. Do not pour hot water over a frozen pipe or do anything that would cause a rapid rise in temperature. For example, do not use open flame torches.
Use something to blow warm air (such as a hair dryer) on the frozen section to begin the warming process. Wave the warm air back and forth on the pipe. Keep a faucet ‘on’ during thawing to prevent a surge of water from rushing through your pipes. This may cause more damage.
If the pipe bursts upon thawing, or if there is already a leak or drip from the frozen area, immediately turn off the water at the main supply valve.
For assistance with winterizing your home, or if you have a leak or broken pipe from freezing, please call Branch Brothers Plumbing.