During the coldest time of year, every homeowner begins to protect their house from the cold. Bursting and freezing pipes are common during this type of weather. Frozen pipes are the most expensive cause of property damage during the winter season. It can also lead to water damage that requires costly repairs.
Did you know that houses located in warmer climates are more vulnerable to frozen pipes? This vulnerability is because pipes from homes that are not used to cold weather are not adequately insulated and protected from low temperatures. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent frozen pipes and ice blockages that can cause more problems than you imagine.
Here are six tips you need if you want to prevent and thaw frozen pipes:
1. Keep the Heat On
If you plan to leave your home for an extended period, don’t forget to keep on the heat. Whether you are going on vacation or just visiting a loved one, it is essential that you leave the heat on whenever you are away. Keeping the heat on is the best way to protect your pipes from cold weather.
Although leaving the heat on while you’re away may seem like a bad idea because it may cause an increase in your electricity bill, it will be much cheaper compared to the cost you will have to pay when your pipes freeze and burst.
Remember that the heat does not necessarily need to be kept as high as is typical. Just set the temperature somewhere above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and you will provide enough heat to prevent the water in your pipes from freezing.
2. Let the Faucet Drip
If you don’t know what to do with frozen pipes, you can simply let the faucet drip. By allowing your faucet to leak slightly, you can relieve pressure from the system. One factor contributing to a bursting pipe is the pressure between the ice blockage and the faucet. When even the slightest pressure is released from the pipe, it will prevent pressure build-up.
3. Keep the Cabinet Doors Open
Most of the pipes in your home are located inside cabinets. When the temperature drops, it is good to keep cabinet doors open to let the heat from the house spread to the pipes and keep them warm. You can also keep the interior doors open to let the heat flow freely.
4. Watch Out For Cracks and Holes
Cracks and holes in the wall where the pipes run through can let in cold air. When you notice cracks or holes, no matter how big or small, seal them up immediately with spray foam insulation. The cold air that gets into your pipes may cause the water to freeze and lead to blockages.
5. Use Heating Tape
Heating tapes can work as electric blankets for your pipes. To prevent frozen pipes, you can cover them with heating tape and supply heat to prevent the cold air from coming in. Heating tape is the best solution for pipes at a high risk of freezing and easily accessible cold temperatures.
There are two types of heating tapes you can use to protect your pipes. One can automatically turn on and off by itself when heat is required, and the other needs to be plugged in and unplugged when needed. Keep in mind that heating tapes can be dangerous when not handled properly, so read the safety procedure on the back of the package before use.
6. Add Extra Insulation
Pipes have more chances of freezing and bursting when they do not have proper insulation. That’s why pipes located in basements and attics are more prone to freezing than other pipes. If you are afraid of the occurrence of frozen pipes, you can add extra insulation to keep your pipes warm.
If you have exposed pipes in your home, you can fit a foam rubber to them to apply additional heat and lessen the chance of freezing. You may also want to use extra insulation to the walls and ceilings where the pipes run through to keep them warm throughout the year.
Do Frozen Pipes Always Burst?
Although there is a good chance that a frozen pipe may end up bursting, it is essential to remember that pipes don’t always burst when frozen or that bursting is a part of the process of freezing pipes. When a pipe freezes, the ice inside will eventually begin to thaw. The pressure caused when water begins to rush inside the pipe may trigger the pipe to burst.
If you experience freezing or bursting pipes, A Better Plumber has the best plumbers in Denver, CO, who are trained and experienced in handling frozen pipes and repairing damages caused by pipes bursting. You can visit our website to learn more about our services, or contact us now!