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Homeowners: Would You Know if Your Pipes Were Frozen?

telling when a pipe is frozenAs winter settles in and temperatures drop to freezing and below, one of the main concerns of homeowners is frozen water pipes. When the water in a pipe turns to ice, it expands and blocks the pipe and may cause the pipe to burst releasing a deluge backed-up water and much greater damage than just the pipe.

Which pipes will most likely freeze?

The greatest freezing risk is for those pipes that have the greatest exposure to the outdoors – pipes in unheated crawl spaces and other unheated areas of the building as well as those running along an outside wall. This can happen in any type of dwelling from single home to condo to apartment.

Click on READ MORE below for clues that your pipe might be frozen...


Below are some of the most common tell-tale signs of freezing or broken pipes that you will want to remember.

Frost or condensation on pipes

If the pipe is visible, you might see condensation or perhaps even frost on the outside surface. This is an obvious warning that the pipe is frozen and that a rupture could occur. You might notice an actual bulge in a pipe where pressure is building. If you find a frozen pipe, don’t stop there; check the other pipes in the building since there could be others. Once you’ve determined that a pipe is frozen, there are several steps you can take to thaw the pipes and hopefully minimize any damage.

Unfamiliar Sounds:

If air is unable to pass through the pipe, you could hear a bubbling noise when running water in the sink or perhaps flushing the toilet. Sometimes when a pipe is partially blocked as with ice, you will hear a whistling sound which could warn of an impending rupture. Also, with freezing pipes – especially if the pipe is somehow damaged or dented already, you could hear a banging sound.

Compromised water flow:

If the water stream from a faucet is slow or comes in bursts or if you get no water at all when you turn the water on, then it’s time to check the pipes. Also, watch for slow draining and slow-flushing of the toilet.


When a freezing drain pipe is blocked or ruptured, water is unable to drain out into the sewage system and will begin to back up. This will cause a strong unpleasant odor in drains, warning you to inspect for a blocked or broken pipe. Typically, this will be noticed first in fixtures closest to ground level.

 Water rings and puddling:

Broken pipes may at first leak slowly. If you see dampness on walls or ceilings or puddling on a floor near a pipe, check for a leaking pipe before a full rupture has time to happen.

How to thaw a frozen pipe

If you detect frozen pipes, you will want to take steps to minimize any damage, prevent ruptures and restore the pipe to good working order. Check out this article for more on frozen pipes and a list of what to do to thaw a frozen pipe.

Home Insurance Tip

No matter what type of dwelling you have – from individual home to condo to apartment, taking time to see that your homeowners or renters insurance policy offers coverage for the losses that could occur from frozen and ruptured pipes. A conversation with your insurance agent who can discuss your options will provide peace of mind.

Linduist Insurance is a full-service insurance agency offering auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, business/commercial insurance and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA), Washington DC, West Virginia (WV) and Pennsylvania (PA) since 1992. Our experienced insurance agents  at both our Frederick and Annapolis offices welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it.  This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage.  You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.


Monday, 16 January 2017 05:57

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