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What to do if your pipes freeze or burst

Plumbers are already getting swamped with calls from homeowners with frozen or burst pipes.

HOUSTON — The brutal temperatures outside will lead to a nightmare inside for a lot of homeowners.

Because of the cold weather, we’re seeing pipes burst across the Houston area. From apartments on the East Beltway to the ceiling of a home in Cypress, the damage was done from Midtown to Missouri City.

“As the temperature started to come up a little bit, yeah the phones are ringing off the hook," said Joe Bany with John Moore Services. “What we are dealing with now is hard ice inside of the pipe and it had nowhere to go, and it just keeps pushing on the pipe until it explodes."

The best advice is to turn off your water or drip your faucets. If you keep the water moving, it’s harder to freeze. Remember if your pipes bust and you call a plumber, road conditions and a rush on parts could affect response time.

“Everything is going to be delayed, understand if you do have a break, that a plumber can get out there and make a solution for you, but that solution might not require same day fix ," Bany said.

One thing you want to find experts say is your water main on the side of your house. That way if your pipes burst, you can shut it off quickly before things flood.

If your faucet is not running or toilet is not refilling, there's a good chance your pipe is frozen.

If you suspect a frozen pipe, turn off your water supply in case it bursts.

Try to thaw the pipe yourself using a hair dryer, heating pad or warm cloth.

What to do if your pipe breaks

  • Shut off your water at the main water valve.
  • Electricity should be cut off to the area of the home with water.
  • Call a plumber. It’s a good idea to research 24-hour plumbing companies in advance, just in case.
  • If flooring, walls or ceilings are severely damaged, you may need to contact a water damage professional.
  • You need to prevent mold and mildew buildup so use mops, towels and a wet/dry vacuum to soak up the water.


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