Your House And Frozen Pipes

Frozen Garden HoseYep. I’s cold and that means your house may end up with frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can lead to burst pipes once they begin to thaw out. Burst pipes mean water everywhere and, sometimes, you won’t even know it until the water starts dripping through your ceiling.

Frozen pipes can be pretty disastrous.

Luckily (I hope) living in the house and having some heat on and running water through your plumbing pipes will help avoid this. On the other hand, if you’re in the process of selling your home and the house is vacant, you may want to go back (or have your Realtor go back) and turn on the heat. Another solution may be to keep a small but steady drip coming out of a few faucets. The running water may cause you water bill to be higher but that may be a small trade off to major water damage to your home.

This is not the time to skimp on the heating bill.

Yeah. I know electricity and/or gas can get expensive. Oil ain’t cheap and it’s hard to say if the oil truck will make it out if your tank empties out. However, water causes so much havoc, it’s worth it to warm up.

Many times the freezing will begin outside at your hose bibs. ┬áIf you haven’t already “winterized” your hose bibs by expelling the existing water and turning off the water access from inside your house, it’s too late to worry about it now.

I know.

I just remembered I didn’t winterize my own hose bibs and went out last night to do it.

Couldn’t be done.

After much wrenching and spraying with WD-40 to release the garden hose from the bib, I found that the bib knob was frozen in place and that there was a solid covering of ice at the mouth of the faucet.

Diagnosis: too late. Pray. Keep the interior of the house warm.

I usually do this “winterizing” earlier in the year but since it was so warm in December, I just plain forgot.

Bottom line: if we do thaw out and your pipes haven’t burst, go out there and make sure your the water lines to your hose bibs are empty and wait for Spring. If you’re in the process of selling your house, check on it periodically (or have your Realtor check on it) to make sure you don’t have a gusher resulting from frozen pipes thawing out and bursting.


About Ken Montville

Ken Montville is a Realtor® and Associate Broker with RE/MAX United Real Estate in the beautiful Maryland Suburbs of Washington, DC. He has been selling nice homes since 1999. Way back in the 20th Century.

When Ken Is not doing the real estate thing he can be found all over social media in places too numerous to mention and he listens to jazz, reads a little (mostly non-fiction), hangs out with the Rotary Club of College Park, MD and can be found blogging at