Temperatures in central Wisconsin are expected to be below freezing this week, which could mean problems for homeowners. When water freezes, it expands causing pipes to burst. Escaping water can cause serious damage. Quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low can cause pipes to burst.
Experts recommend that people insulate pipes in their attics and basements and seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. When temps dip below freezing, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
If you discover your pipes are frozen, turn on your faucets and call a plumber. Resist the urge to take matters into your own hands. Thawing a pipe with a blow torch may seem like a good idea but the fire risk is too great. The torch can also cause the water to boil and pipes may explode. If your pipes have burst, do not use appliances that are in standing water. Immediately turn off the water at the main shutoff valve.
One final tip, if you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home and set the temperature no lower than 55ºF.