After 10 days of freezing and below temperatures, everyone is at risk of having busted pipes and the troubles that come with it.

Chris Solid, owner of Solid Plumbing, said his phone’s been ringing off the hook in recent days as home water lines are falling victim to the elements. If you haven’t done it, it’s time to take the first major step in guarding your home water supply.

“All vent holes and crawlspaces need to be covered with cardboard around the outside of the house, anywhere that allows the cold air to come in,” he said. “That’s the number one thing, freezing pipes.”

Keeping the cold air from getting underneath the house is a must, Solid said.

You need to know where your water meter is located. Solid said if you’re not sure, you can Google Earth a photo of your property from a clear day and be able to locate it. It’s important, he said.

“You have to have a way to turn the water off and be ready so that when the pipes thaw out and start flooding the house, you can turn it off,” he said.

If it’s too late and your pipes are frozen, turn the heat up to at least 76 degrees inside your house and open all the cabinet doors to allow the heat to reach the pipes, Solid said.

“If the pipes are frozen, keep the heat up and open the doors so pipes can get heat because there’s always some pipes in the walls,” he said. “You also need to put a space heater near your water heater. We’re seeing those starting to freeze up.”

To keep flowing lines that way, Solid said you need to keep a steady stream of hot and cold water “the size of a pencil” running from every faucet in the home.

Solid said that waterlines are triggering emergencies. Some things are out of your immediate control. Waterlines are buried 24 inches deep and the ground freezes at a rate of two inches per day, he said. Over the past 10 days, deeply buried lines are becoming vulnerable.

“The ground is frozen about as deep as the waterlines are buried,” he said. “It’s crazy. It’s pretty unprecedented for it to be this cold this long.”

The calamity has kept Solid and most other local plumbers scrambling to do their best.

“We’re triaging and doing damage control,” he said. “We’re only out here trying to fix flooded houses right now. It’s the only thing we can do.”

Solid said it’s up to the homeowners and residents to take the preparations into their hands.

“They need to be proactive,” he said. “They can save themselves thousands of dollars of damage with a little preparation.”

Written by Scott Rains: scott.rains@swoknews.com.

Written by Scott Rains: scott.rains@swoknews.com.