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Winter is coming — whether you like it or not. That means colder weather, and in some cases, even freezing temperatures. One thing you want to avoid is getting frozen pipes.

Having frozen pipes can be a nuisance but here are some preventative steps you can take to prevent this from happening:

Preventing Frozen Pipes

You see the forecast...and it's going to be freezing or worse, below freezing. Before leaving it all up to chance, be proactive and take the necessary steps to prevent frozen pipes. A frozen pipe can limit your water supply and be a major inconvenience. If not taken care of properly, it could lead to a pipe bursting. You don't want any damage to your pipes or any costly accidents that could result in you unexpectedly spending a lot of money.

To prevent frozen pipes, take the following steps:

  • Get heating tape from a local hardware store to help insulate your pipes
  • Keep the thermostat on at night
  • Open up your cupboards and cabinet doors that house your pipes in order to help fuel warmer air
  • If you're leaving for a while, the Red Cross recommends not having the temperature go below 55 degrees in your home
  • Consider running the faucet at a very light drip
  • Check the foundation of the pipes in your basement

Also, insulating your entire home can help it stay warmer in general which can help prevent frozen pipes. Taking these proactive measures can save you a lot of headaches further down the line.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

Are you already facing the consequences of frozen pipes and wondering what to do next? Try to avoid any type of heat from a fire or gasoline to warm the frozen pipes. Last year alone, a handful of fires were set in the Chicago area from this type of thawing method. Stay safe by avoiding these heating methods. Look for ways to help thaw frozen pipes that don't put your safety at risk.

According to the Red Cross, you can heat up your pipes with an electrical heating pad or by using an electrical hairdryer. You can also use a portable space heater or even towels that have been soaked in hot water to help warm the pipes. If that doesn't solve the problem, you may want to consider hiring a plumber.

While it may cost you more money and a little bit of effort to thaw and prevent frozen pipes from happening, these steps can save you money and a lot of hassle in the long run. Ultimately, you can avoid damaging fires and costly pipe repairs with some light maintenance and care.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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