Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter

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close up of a hand placing insulating foam on an outdoor pipe.

Frozen pipes are a pain at best, a major expense and stressor at worst. Prevent your pipes from freezing this winter with these simple steps.

A Leading Cause of Property Damage

When the weather is taking a deep nose dive into the cold dreary days, the risk of your pipes freezing and potentially bursting skyrockets. Unfortunately, during these cold dreary months, burst pipes are the most common denominator for property damage. The pipes that are most at the risk are those that are in areas where it is most cold in your home. For instance, pipes located in interior places such as basements, attics, and your garage. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the pipes running through your cabinets or exterior walls can’t freeze. Good news, however, is that you can do things to help prevent pipes from freezing.

Damaged Sink & Pipes

How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing

Once the temperature starts to drop during the winter, you should be taking the proper measures needed to ensure that your pipes stay warm and that there is circulation of water through them. Some steps that experts may recommend could go against your better judgement when it comes to saving water and heat. However, it would go without saying that when expenses are compared, damaged pipes could put a bigger dent in your wallet than a water bill.

What Can I Do?

A dripping tap which will prevent pipes from freezing
By allowing your faucet to drip, it will alleviate pressure in the system.
    1. Keep your garage door closed. This is very important, especially if you have water supply lines running through your garage.
    2. Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate through them.
    3. Allow air circulation throughout your home. Keeping the interior doors open will once again allow the warm air to circulate inside your home.
    4. Ensure your thermostat is running the same temperature throughout the night and day.
    5. If you plan to be away from home during the cold months, set your temperature no lower than 55° F. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and prevent any remaining water inside the pipes from freezing.
    6. For more of a long-term solution, add insulation to attics, basement, and other crawl spaces around your home.
    7. By allowing your faucet to drip, it will alleviate pressure in the system. This is important because the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet can potentially cause the pipes to burst. Allowing the faucet to drip will prevent the pressure from building up, therefore keeping the pipes from bursting.
    8. Seal any cracks, openings, and crawl spaces around your home to prevent cold air from coming inside. This keeps your pipes-not to mention your home-warmer and less susceptible to issues caused by freezing temperatures.
    9. For the pipes in your home that are easily accessible, applying electrical tape to them might prevent them from freezing over. This is a quick fix, as you can apply the tape directly to the pipe. There are two options for heating tapes. One turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type of heating tape needs to be applied when heat is needed and removed when not necessary. If you have exposed pipes in your home, you can check this website to take a look at a few options that would be available at a shop near you.

How Do I Know if My Pipes are Frozen?

While the above tips are a great way to prevent your pipes from freezing, sometimes it happens. Not sure whether that is what’s causing your issue or not? Here are some signs that your pipes are frozen.

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Frost

If your pipes are exposed, check for visible frost on the outside of them. If you can see frost on the outside, you’ve probably got some freezing on the inside.

No Flow

If you suddenly have very little or no water flowing from your pipes during a cold snap, that’s a good indicator of a frozen pipe. If there is an ice blockage inside a pipe, it will restrict water flow and often causes a loss of running water altogether.

Strange Odours

This is a bit of an unexpected one. A frozen pipe often causes a funny-smelling drain because if there is an ice blockage, the gunk and debris that normally flows quickly through your pipes gets stuck and any smells emanating will head back out through the unblocked path and up the drain. Yuck!

Contact Us

Ensuring you have taken all the necessary steps to prevent your pipes from bursting this winter could save you the headache of replacing a brand-new system within your home. For other great tips and tricks, follow through to our blog! For any other questions you may have, contact us! Our technicians are dependable, and full of knowledge to share!

We hope these tips help you avoid any messy plumbing emergencies this winter, but if one occurs, we’re here for you! Call our trusted plumbers anytime.

Call a Plumber: 1-587-200-7564

 

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Butler Plumbing Heating & Gasfitting Ltd.