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How to Prevent and Fix Frozen Pipes in Your Apartment

Tuesday, February 1, 2022
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Frozen pipes are a common nuisance in apartment buildings with less than perfect preventative measures in place. If your building has pipes that are exposed to the elements during winter, or if they’re too close to an exterior wall, then you may turn on your water one day and find it’s not flowing out. Also, if your apartment is kept too cold to warm up water that has traveled through colder exterior pipes, it may freeze within your unit.


Usually, frozen pipes are not a big deal beyond a general annoyance. Plus, any repairs necessary should be covered by your landlord as running water is required for a living space. However, if the pipe bursts and leaks into your apartment, you could end up dealing with water damage to your personal belongings. While you can’t control much in your apartment building, you can take preventative measures within your own space to lessen the chance that frozen pipes affect you personally.

Preventing frozen pipes in your apartment

There isn’t much you can do without access to the main pipes and water heater yourself, but there are a few measures to take.

  • Keep your apartment warm – Even if you’re accustomed to a colder thermostat level, keeping your apartment closer to 70 degrees will help to warm the water that flows through your pipes.
  • Insulate pipes – This may be something you can ask your landlord to do for you, but if they refuse, then it won’t be costly in money or effort to do yourself. You can purchase cheap foam covers for pipes which you can install in seconds that will keep the cold out.
  • Letting water drip – While not the most environmentally friendly option, keeping your water running at the smallest amount possible will help prevent pipes from freezing. Plus, the water wasted will be a very small amount compared to the water that would be wasted if a pipe burst and leaked.

What to do if your pipes still freeze

Even if you’ve done your due diligence, a bitterly cold day may still freeze your pipes. Here’s what to do.

  • Notify your landlord – This building is their responsibility, so they will be paying for the repair team to come to fix the problem. Don’t rely on another tenant to notify them, as your apartment may be the only one experiencing the problem.
  • Locate the frozen pipe if possible – The problem may not be with an exterior pipe. It could be within your apartment. Turn on different faucets to see which ones run. This information will help a plumber fix the problem faster.
  • If you found the frozen pipe, try to thaw it – If you have access to the frozen pipe, the fix could be as simple as thawing it yourself. Try a blow dryer or space heater to warm up the pipe. Soaking a towel in warm water to wrap around the pipe may help, too.
  • Warm-up your apartment – Turning up the thermostat beyond what you usually would do the trick. Make sure to open cabinet doors under your kitchen and bathroom sink to allow warm air to reach the pipes.

Adams Complete Cleaning & Restoration | Frozen pipe and water damage repairs

Even if you do all that you can to prevent frozen pipes, mother nature can still overpower your work. If you hit an especially bad cold snap and your pipes freeze anyway, know that there is someone you can call. Adams Complete Cleaning & Restoration handles frozen pipes all the time, we know how to fix the problem quickly. If your pipes burst and you’re dealing with water leakage, too, we can get rid of the water and restore any damage it may have caused.

Call our 24-hour emergency helpline at (888) 436-2260 now for help with frozen pipes or water damage or send an online contact form and we’ll send someone out right away!