What's Brewing?

Check out the latest articles and posts from ICC.

Frozen Pipe Prevention and Mitigation

February 2020

As temperatures fall, there are some precautionary measures that you can take to avoid a costly frozen pipe incident.

  • Insulate pipes exposed to the elements. By keeping your water warmer, you reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water in the cold winter months.

  • Inspect your building to identify “at-risk” pipes. If your building is under renovation or construction, consider wrapping pipes and/or turning off the water to limit breaks or spillage.

  • Consider placing an insulating dome or other covering on outdoor faucets or spigots to reduce the likelihood of pipes freezing, expanding, and causing a costly leak.

  • Allow for airflow. Keep doors or cabinets open to allow warm air to circulate and help avoid freezing. Pipes located along exterior walls are more subject to freezing.

  • Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes to reduce buildup of pressure in the pipes. Running water through the pipe, at even a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.

  • Set thermostat(s) to the same temperature during the day and night.


If your pipes do freeze, here are some ways to mitigate the damages:

  • Keep the faucet open. As the frozen area starts to melt, water will flow and help melt ice in the pipe.

  • Apply heat to the frozen area using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or towels soaked in hot water.

  • For another effective quick fix, wrap the frozen area of the pipe with thermostatically controlled heat tape ($50-$200 depending on length).

  • Use a portable space heater, kept away from flammable materials, to warm under the house (never leave the heater unattended).

  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.

  • If you cannot find the frozen area, if the area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.


As tempting as it may be, DO NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open-flame device.


Learn more about insuring your business with ICC by contacting an ICC agent today. The Find an Agent search on our homepage will help you locate an ICC agent in your area.

Click to view more.

Find an Agent

Contact ICC