To prevent your pipes from freezing, ensure they are insulated and heated. It may also help to let the water drip from your faucet. If you are going away on vacation, leave the heat on and adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature.
To thaw out the pipes, heat a towel or a cloth and wrap it around the affected pipe. You can also use a hair dryer or space heater on low settings. Never use an open flame to thaw out the pipes.
It is recommended to have your plumbing inspected once every two years. An inspection can help identify any potential problems and helps prevent costly repairs down the line.