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      Fight freezing pipes

      Freezing pipes can occur when temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. And in Upper Michigan, it's a common scenario a large portion of the year.

      Service Professionals say itâ??s not the ice in the frozen pipe that causes the break but the pressure between that blockage and the closed faucet.

      And the fix could cost at least a few hundred dollars.

      Shaun Simon, a Service Technician with Swick Home Services, says freezing pipes is a call they receive quite often.

      "A lot of it depends on the layout of the piping system, the insulation that was used, the quality that was used, and wind direction," explained Simon.

      He says homeowners need to look out for large reductions in water flow.

      "Thatâ??s always a warning sign that their pipes are freezing up," Simon said. "If they go underneath their sink and feel the water lines and they're cold to the touch, they know they're on the verge of freezing up."

      Solutions include heaters for cold areas in your home, heat tape, and several methods of insulation.

      "There are so many options," Simon admitted. "Call a plumbing company, have them come out there for a service call and give recommendations."

      Then homeowners can decide if they'd rather fly solo with the solutions.

      "Easier options would be putting insulation on the pipes," said Klint Miller, a Pro-service Specialist at Lowes. "It actually just slips right over."

      And possibly inexpensive; It's approximately two dollars for a six-foot piece.

      "Another thing would be the heat tape," Miller stated. "You can buy a timerâ?|and when it gets below 38 degrees, it will turn on."

      As for heat tape, it could range anywhere from $25 to $40.

      Service technicians recommend residents check the outside of their home before winter for cracks in windows, foundation or siding so they can be filled and stop cold air from penetrating your home.