2 min read

Don’t Let These Frozen Hazards Ruin Your Winter

Jan 3, 2018 6:30:00 AM

Frozen - FB.jpgJust like Queen Elsa, we know ice can be an unwanted annoyance. But unfortunately we don’t have Elsa’s ability to make frozen things, like pipes and ice dams, disappear with an act of true love. When you think your home might be in danger from freezing temperatures, don’t just “let it go!” Take action to keep your castle (or home) safe.

Frozen Pipes

  • Check your pipes regularly by turning on each water faucet (using both hot and cold setting) to ensure there is a steady stream of water flowing. If there is a slowed stream or no flow at all, your pipes have most likely frozen.
  • Try to allow warm air to circulate in the areas where plumbing and pipes are located. Do this by opening the doors and cabinets that enclose them.
  • Keeping your home at a minimum of 55 degrees helps lower your likelihood of frozen pipes.
  • Pipes need a coat in the winter, too! Make sure pipes in unheated areas of your house – like your attic or crawl spaces – are properly insulated. For a quick fix, wrap your pipes in heat tape.
  • Keeping water dripping from a faucet is a great way to prevent risky pipes from freezing.

Oh no! You think your pipes are already frozen. What now?

Shut off your water as soon as you can – this can help to prevent water damage, if it hasn’t already happened. Then you can call a plumber to locate and alleviate the issue. It’s always a good idea to find your main water supply ahead of time and mark it clearly, so you don’t have to waste time finding it later.

Ice Dams

Frozen pipes aren’t the only frozen dangers hiding in your home during the colder months. Ice dams can also cause significant damage this winter. To make sure that you’re protected:

  • Remove snow from the roof after each snow storm. You can use a roof rake or a push broom, but be careful as these may damage roofing materials. Roof rakes are available with wheels to help prevent damage to your roof.
  • Make sure the area around downspouts are clear to allow proper drainage from your gutters.
  • For longer-term action, consider improving attic insulation to seal openings where warm, moist air from your home could be flowing into the attic. Also check your attic ventilation – proper ventilation can help heat rise and escape.

Despite your best efforts, an ice dam has formed. What now?

Be safe! Do NOT try to get onto the roof! A roof rake or push broom may be able to help you reach the roof from a safe spot on the ground, but if you cannot safely reach the roof with one of these tools, seek professional assistance. Check out our blog on ice dams for more tips and resources.


Follow these guidelines to protect your home and family this season, because the only frozen world you should see at your house this winter is the one with an animated snowman!


Written by Gibson

Gibson is a team of risk management and employee benefits professionals with a passion for helping leaders look beyond what others see and get to the proactive side of insurance. As an employee-owned company, Gibson is driven by close relationships with their clients, employees, and the communities they serve. The first Gibson office opened in 1933 in Northern Indiana, and as the company’s reach grew, so did their team. Today, Gibson serves clients across the country from offices in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Utah.