As cold weather makes it way across the United States, places that don’t typically have to worry about frozen pipes might just find themselves doing so. In colder regions, frozen pipes are typically accommodated for with building codes and specifics about where you can and can’t install the pipes. In the southern regions, there aren’t that many regulations, which means that pipes might be more susceptible to freezing if you don’t take special precautions when the temperature dips.
If a pipe bursts, not only can it flood your home – it can also disrupt your water service, which is a huge hassle. It’s not an inexpensive event, so prevention is always the best medicine when it comes to stopping your pipes from freezing. Since water expands when it freezes, if there is standing water in your pipes, and the water freezes, it will expand and can destroy your pipes. Although pipes made from really strong material, it is possible for them to burst under the right conditions.
To ensure that your pipes don’t freeze this winter season, take the following precautions when the weatherman predicts colder temperatures heading your way:
- Make sure to close up and tighten windows and doors.
- If you have drafty areas in your home, you will want to insulate any pipes that are located near them. You can wrap the pipes directly with insulation to keep them from freezing. Any local do-it-yourself center will have all that you need to keep the pipes frost-free.
- Close all the drain pipes and inside valves that lead from the outside to your inner pipes so that they don’t have the potential to expand and freeze.
- If you have a swimming pool, make sure to drain it according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Do not add antifreeze to your swimming pool water unless the instructions specify to do so.
- Shut inside valves leading to the exterior of your home and make sure to drain those pipes.
- Label the main valve that leads the water to the interior of your home. Also, make sure that anyone else who lives in the home also knows where it is. If a pipe freezes and you notice a water rush, someone will need to go to the valve and shut it off immediately to prevent damage.
- If there is a water supply located either inside a closet or under a faucet, you will want to open the doors to expose the pipes. If you don’t allow the warm air to circulate to those hidden spaces, the pipes are more likely to freeze.
- Although you want to save money on heating, you will want to keep the temperature as high at night as you do during the day when the temperature dips well below freezing. It is much less expensive to heat your home during the night than to have a costly pipe burst that can end up being very destructive.
What to do if you have a frozen pipe
If you notice that there is a slow drip – or even that you turn on the faucet and no water comes from it – then there is a good chance that you have a frozen pipe. If the water is not running, then you will want to follow these steps to minimize any damage:
- First, identify where the frozen pipe is. There are many places where the pipe could be frozen, so that might be easier said than done. If you can locate the pipe that is frozen, try to thaw it by applying a heating source to it, and wrap warm towels around the pipe to get it to unfreeze.
- To prevent the pipes from freezing, keep a slow trickle running from them. Just a little drip from the faucet will keep your pipes from freezing during colder weather.
If you have a frozen pipe that you can’t locate, it is best to shut off any water supply to your home and call a professional plumbing company in Winnipeg to identify where the issue is. If you don’t know where the frozen pipe is and it bursts, you can have a serious problem on your hands when things thaw out. Pay close attention to the weather forecast to ensure that you keep your home and your pipes safe this winter.