Frozen pipes can cause serious damage to your home and can lead to costly repairs if not addressed promptly. In this blog post, we will discuss the severity of the problem, how you can prevent frozen pipes in the winter, and when to call us for help.
The Danger of Frozen Pipes in Your Home
Frozen pipes are a common problem during the winter months, particularly in areas with cold climates like Missouri. (Missouri winters can be very cold, with average lows in December and January of about 20°F.)
When water inside a pipe freezes, it expands, putting pressure on the pipe and causing it to crack or burst. This can lead to serious water damage in your home and can be costly to repair.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
The best way to deal with frozen pipes is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are a few things you can do to prevent frozen pipes in the winter:
- Insulate your pipes: Pipes that run through unheated areas of your home, such as the attic, garage, or crawl space, are more likely to freeze. Pay special attention to pipes that run along exterior walls. Insulating these pipes with pipe insulation can help keep them warm and prevent freezing.
- Let the water run: Running a small stream of water through your pipes can help prevent freezing during extremely cold weather. This is because moving water is less likely to freeze than standing water.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature: Fluctuating temperatures can cause pipes to expand and contract, making them more susceptible to freezing. Keeping your thermostat set at a consistent temperature can help prevent this.
- Seal off drafts: Drafts can let in cold air and cause pipes to freeze. Seal off drafts around your windows and doors to keep the cold air out.
- Open cabinet doors: Leaving the doors open to cabinets under your sinks can allow warm air to circulate around the pipes, preventing them from freezing.
- Regular maintenance and inspections can help detect and repair any issues before they become a bigger problem. It’s important to schedule regular maintenance with a professional licensed plumber (like us) to ensure your pipes are in good condition and to prevent any issues during the winter months.
How to Deal with a Frozen Pipe
To identify frozen pipes, you should keep an eye out for signs such as reduced water pressure, strange noises from the pipes, or water leaks.
If you suspect that one of your pipes may be frozen, it’s important to act immediately. Here are a few things you can do to deal with a frozen pipe:
- Locate the frozen pipe: Look for signs of freezing such as frost on the pipe or a lack of water flow. Frozen pipes are often found in unheated areas of the home, such as the attic, garage, or crawl space.
- Thaw the pipe: You can try to thaw the pipe using a hair dryer or a space heater. Never use an open flame, such as a blowtorch, to thaw a pipe. Move the heat source along the length of the frozen pipe to melt the ice.
- Keep the faucet open: As the pipe thaws, open the faucet closest to the frozen pipe to allow the water to flow through the pipe and prevent refreezing.
- Check for leaks: Once the pipe has thawed, turn the water back on and check for leaks. If you notice any leaks, turn the water off again and call a professional plumber to repair the pipe.
When to Call in a Professional Plumber
If you are unable to thaw the pipe or the pipe has already burst, it’s best to turn off the main water supply to your home and call us. We have the experience and the equipment necessary to safely thaw and repair the pipes, minimizing the potential damage to your home.
In conclusion, frozen pipes are not just an inconvenience, but a serious problem that can damage your home and cost you a lot of money. By taking steps to prevent frozen pipes and knowing when to call in a professional plumber, you can protect your home and keep your pipes flowing smoothly throughout the winter.
If you have any concerns or need any assistance with your pipes, don’t hesitate to contact our plumbing company. We’re here to help.