How to Avoid or Fix Frozen Pipes

How to Avoid or Fix Frozen Pipes

A frozen pipe is a disaster nobody wants to deal with, but extreme cold can leave anyone’s home vulnerable.

Strong winds, like the weather Northeastern Illinois will experience this week, can make pipes more susceptible to freezing. It makes it more likely that a draft will enter a home and drop the temperature further.

But there are several ways to winterize your pipes:

  1. Close garages – If there are pipes in your garage, make sure to keep the door closed to conserve heat.
  2. Open cabinets – Opening kitchen and bathroom cabinets will allow warmer air to circulate to the pipes.
  3. Let water drip – Let cold water drip from any faucets that are served by exposed pipes.
  4. Leave the heat on – If you plan on being out of town, make sure you do not turn the heat down.
  5. Insulate – As a long-term solution, add insulation to attics, basements, crawl spaces and other areas with housing pipes that are not climate-controlled.

If a pipe manages to freeze and burst despite all your efforts, be cautious when thawing, as water will begin to drip from the broken area. Additionally, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve before thawing broken pipes. Here are a few ways to thaw frozen pipes quickly:

  1. Turn on the faucet – As cold as it may be, running water through the pipe will help it thaw.
  2. Apply heat – Using small handheld appliances such as a hairdryer, electric heating pad or portable space heater, apply gentle heat to the frozen pipes. You can also wrap pipes with towels soaked in warm water.
  3. Call a plumber – If you are unable to identify the frozen area, it is best to call a professional. A licensed plumber will be able to find the frozen area, fix any bursts, and thaw the pipes.
How Radon Enters the Home

Reducing the Risk From Radon: A Guide for Healthcare Providers

The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc., has developed a new guide for health care providers titled Reducing the Risk From Radon: Information and Interventions. This guide was designed to furnish health care providers with the information they need to reduce their patients’ exposures to radon. Radon is estimated to cause about 21,100 lung cancer deaths per year and is the leading environmental cause of cancer mortality in the United States.

This guide has the latest information on:

  • Radon statistics and public health impact.
  • The science behind the risk estimates.
  • Radon testing and reduction.
  • Sample guidance for use in health care settings.
  • The role of health care providers in reducing the burden of radon-induced lung cancer.


Reducing Risk From Radon: Information and Interventions

Is Your Child Breathing Radon Gas At School?

NBC Today Show report:  Officials say radon is in thousands of classrooms, but many districts are doing nothing.

When we send our children to school, we assume that they’re safe; that they’re learning in a healthy environment. But health officials say there’s a danger in the air: a toxic cancer causing gas in thousands of classrooms nationwide. And, we found, many districts are doing nothing about it.

See Today Show report

A New Illinois Law to Protect Renters From Radon

A new law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, will help people who rent apartments, condominiums or houses access information about radon levels in their homes. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s (IEMA) radon program is offering guidance to help renters better understand radon hazards and their rights under this new law.

Public Act 97-0021, which was approved by the Illinois General Assembly this spring and signed by Gov. Quinn on June 28, 2011, requires owners of rental units to inform renters in writing before a lease is signed if the rental space has been tested for radon and that a radon hazard may exist. If the rental unit hasn’t been tested, a renter can conduct a do-it-yourself radon test or ask the owner to test by hiring a licensed radon contractor. If a renter conducts a radon test in the rental unit and results show high radon levels, the renter should inform the building owner in writing.

IEMA recommends that all rental units below the third floor be tested for radon.

Read the full press release
Radon Guide For Tenants