YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With the stress of the holidays, weatherproofing your home against the cold might have been the last thing on your mind. Now, many homeowners are seeing the consequences of frozen or burst pipes.

Xavier Ugarte, owner of Roto-Rooter Plumbing in Youngstown, said the calls have been constant since Friday.

“We’ve had, I think in the last two days, like 80 calls. It’s crazy,” he said.

Freezing temperatures are creating a nasty surprise for homeowners and even offices when they discover frozen, burst pipes.

A Trumbull County employee said a sprinkler system burst and even damaged some offices in the Trumbull County Courthouse. SERVPRO was there to clean up on Monday.

Clean-up is underway after a sprinkler system in the attic of the Trumbull County Courthouse broke.
SERVPRO was at the Trumbull County Courthouse on Monday after a leak.

“It’s cold. Pipes need to be taken care of,” Ugarte said.

With these cold temperatures, your pipes can freeze and burst in an instant. The best way to prevent that, according to Ugarte, is to turn on the tap to a drip.

“Just enough water to have a tiny little stream coming through so it doesn’t give it a chance to freeze,” Ugarte said.

He said this is especially important when pipes are exposed to a draft or outside air.

“If they have any openings and the wind gets in there with the cold, it’s almost an instant freeze,” he said.

Opening cupboards is another great way to stop your pipes from freezing.

If the damage is already done and no water is coming out of your tap, there are a few things you can do while waiting on a plumber.

“Shut off your water main and try to put heat in that general area,” Ugarte said.

A space heater is an option.

Ugarte said it’s also a good time to make sure your insurance covers sewer and water backup for events like these.