Local plumber flooded with calls for freezing pipes

ELKHORN, Neb. (WOWT) -- One of the coldest weekends is wrapping across the metro, but it's leaving behind big problems for many homeowners.

Big Birge Plumbing owner Brad Birge told 6 News his company has been flooded over the weekend with calls for frozen pipes.

"We've been pretty much filling up our whole week so far with frozen pipe calls," he said.

Birge said these calls aren't uncommon this type of year, and unfortunately, they're not easy to prevent.

"You don't really know you're going to have a problem until it happens, unfortunately, just because a lot of new homeowners don't know their houses," Birge said.

Birge does suggest some ways to help keep your pipes safe, though. He suggests opening cabinet doors, let cold water drip from faucets, keep thermostats set at the same temperature day and night, keep garage doors closed, check supply lines or pipes in the attic and garage and take garden hoses off spigots.

Birge said blow dryers can even help warm up cold pipes, but if they break, he said the water needs to be turned off to the house.

"If something breaks, you could open up walls, not just paying a plumber, but paying a dry wall guy, paying a painter if you can't do it yourself, calling insurance, could flood the basement could cause problem with your carpet or mold in the future," Birge said.

Being proactive is the key, according to Birge, which will save money in the long run.

"To be a good steward of owning a home, it's good to get to know your home intimately so that way you're prepared and you know what to do when you're in those cases," Birge said.

6 News asked about heat tape, which Birge said is good if in time of dire emergency.

Birge also suggests hiring a plumber to do a home inspection before purchasing a home. This way, homeowners know every plumbing detail.