Frozen pipes are every homeowner’s worst nightmare, but many individuals believe frozen pipes are only an issue for those living in colder climates. Unfortunately, homes in warmer areas don’t always have the best insulation, making them susceptible to frigid temperatures. That’s why it’s essential to protect them when the temperatures begin to drop.
What Happens to Frozen Pipes?
Cold weather plays impressive tricks on pipes. Because water’s properties allow it to expand, the pressure is put on metal and plastic pipes. If these pipes are weak, they break or leak water. If this happens, the water can cause damage to both the inside and outside of your home. According to the American Red Cross, the pipes that are most likely to burst are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to protect your pipes from freezing.
There are preventative measures you can take to help protect your pipes from freezing.
Most pipes run throughout basements, attics, crawl spaces, and in cabinets that don’t receive heating. Prevent your pipes from bursting by installing insulation. There a few different options you have, for example, pipe sleeves or heat tape. They provide insulation to your pipes and are easily installed by yourself. If cold weather strikes suddenly, 1/4″ of newspaper can provide a degree of insulation for pipes.
Let Your Water Drip
Another option for a sudden tip in temperatures is to let the faucet drip. When a pipe bursts, it’s a result of pressure building up between the blockage and the faucet. By allowing the water drop, you relieve stress in the system.
Seal Cracks and Holes
Any holes or cracks in the home is potentially causing issues two ways: first, it’s allowing cold air to penetrate your home, and second, it’s letting the heat escape. A warm home will help prevent pipes from bursting. Look for cracks and holes in both the interior and exterior of the house for the best results.
One of the best ways to prevent a pipe from unnecessarily bursting is by removing excess water. Drain water from swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines. Do the same to hoses you use outside and then store them indoors. Inside the home, close valves that supply outdoor hose bib and allow the water to drain. On the outside, you’ll want to keep these bibs open so that water can expand without the pipe breaking.
It’s not uncommon for plumping to run underneath sinks. These areas don’t have proper insulation, and by keeping them open, you are allowing your pipes to stay warm and are preventing unnecessary damage.
Enjoy a higher standard of home protection and personalized service.