It's a panic-inducing scenario when you return home from a trip and find that the power is out and your pipes have frozen — especially if one of them has burst or is showing signs that it will burst. It's vitally important to call a plumber right away, regardless of the time. If you make this discovery outside of regular business hours, find a plumbing contractor who offers 24/7 service, such as First Class Plumbing of Florida Inc. Even if it's the middle of the night, the plumber will soon be on his or her way to your home to address the problem and prevent further damage. In the meantime, here are some important jobs that you can do.

Turn All Your Taps On

Take a moment to go through your house and turn each of the taps on. With the water frozen, you shouldn't expect anything to come out. However, turning the taps on is a good idea because if there is any water in the pipes that has yet to freeze, it will be able to run out of the nearest tap. This, in turn, will reduce the volume of water in the pipes, thus lowering the risk of the water expanding upon freezing to the point that it bursts your pipes.

Heat The Area Any Way You Can

Warming up the area in which your pipes are frozen can allow the water to begin to melt — even melting by a small degree can reduce the risk of a pipe bursting. If the power goes back on, you can quickly turn up the heat in your home. If the power is still off, see if your neighbor has a generator that you can use to power one or more portable heaters. Another option is to get a power inverter for your car that plugs into your power port and allows you to run a portable heater (with a long extension cord).

Start Cleaning The Mess

If these is a burst in your pipes, you can use any extra time before your emergency plumber's arrival to begin cleaning up the mess. Sop up puddles with towels and sponges and collect the water in a bucket that you can dump outside. If there are any icicles hanging from the burst pipe, you can carefully break them off and throw them outside. This will prevent further mess if you can provide some heat to the area, as the icicles will soon be melting.