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Signs of Frozen Pipes in the Home

Frozen pipe in the house

Frozen pipes can be a significant inconvenience and, if left untreated, can cause serious damage to your home. It’s essential to look for signs that your pipes may be frozen, especially during the colder months in Ireland. Unprotected pipes and dripping taps can freeze and crack, affecting your water supply. 

Why do Freezing Pipes Burst?

When a frozen pipe bursts, it is caused due to the water expanding as it freezes, which adds undue pressure onto plumbing pipes. The pressure can then cause a small leak or crack in the pipe, which, unfortunately, will allow water to flow inside your home. It’s worth noting that not all freezing pipes burst. Water damage caused by pipes bursting is one of the more common insurance claims, especially in the Winter. 

burst pipe

How to Check for a Frozen Pipe?

Not all plumbing pipes will be visible, but if you spot one coated in frost, it indicates that it’s frozen. You may also notice that your tap won’t work or your toilet won’t refill after you flush it. The water supply has been affected due to a frozen pipe. 

What to Do if You Have a Frozen Pipe?

Basic plumbing knowledge can help you thaw a frozen pipe and minimise any damage done. We recommend calling a plumber if you have these issues or if it’s too late, contact Tersus, and we can help restore your home after water damage. 

Turn off the Water Supply

Shutting off the water in the home will help limit the amount of water leaking into your home.

  • Locate and turn off your inside stop valve
  • Switch off your stopcock in the cold water tank. You will typically find this in your attic. 

Locate the Frozen Pipe

  • Identify the general area where you think there may be a frozen pipe.
  • Look for visible pipes which are not insulated, pipes that feel colder than others or pipes which have nearby leaks or damage.
  • Switch on nearby cold pipes to relieve the pressure of the frozen pipe. You should never switch on the hot taps. 

Thawing the Pipe

  • If the pipe is not broken or cracked, you may attempt to thaw the pipe gently.
  • Remove any materials which may be damaged.
  • Locate a hairdryer and switch it to the lowest setting to gently warm the pipe. 


What to Do if a Pipe Bursts?

You may locate the pipe and find that it has burst. It is probably the worst-case scenario. You should immediately shut off the main water supply to your home to minimise flooding. Call a plumber.

Try to dry out your home as much as possible with mops, sponges, towels, etc. If you own a dehumidifier, use one. These steps are only helpful if you have just spotted the damage. If you return a few hours after the damage is done, then it’s too late. The burst pipe will have caused damage to furniture, walls, floors, appliances and so on. We help homes with water and flood damage. We run an excellent drying process to restore your home to its former glory. We have the knowledge and expertise to ensure a rapid and efficient drying process. So if your home does suffer a burst pipe, don’t worry. We are ready to help.

shut off water supply

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes in the House

We can’t control the cold weather, but there are some steps we can take to prevent the pipes from freezing. 

Keep your home warm: The best way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to keep your home warm, especially in areas where pipes are located. Set your thermostat to at least 13°C, even when you’re away from home.

Insulate your pipes – Insulating your pipes can help keep them from freezing. This is especially important for pipes in unheated areas, such as basements and crawl spaces. You can use pipe insulation sleeves or wrap the pipes with heat tape.

Seal gaps or cracks – Gaps and cracks in your home’s exterior can allow cold air to enter and potentially freeze your pipes.

Disconnect your garden hoses: If you have garden hoses connected to your outdoor taps, disconnect them before the winter weather arrives. Doing so will help prevent any water left in the hose from freezing and expanding, which could cause the faucet or pipes to burst.

Keep the cabinets open: If you have pipes under a sink or cabinet, keep the doors open during the Winter to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

Run the water: Running a trickle of water from your taps can help prevent your pipes from freezing. The moving water will help keep the pipes warm and prevent them from freezing.


If a frozen or burst pipe has caused water damage in your home, contact Tersus to help with the drying process. Alternatively, call us on 0818 33 354 today!


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