As summer fades into fall, most people are still enjoying warm weather and time outdoors. But colder weather will soon be approaching and if you’ve had trouble with frozen pipes in the past, it’s time to take action. Frozen pipes can be expensive to fix and can cause permanent damage to your home. As a result, taking action to prevent the problem before it occurs can help homeowners save a significant amount of money.
Understanding Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can occur when temperatures plunge to below freezing. If pipes or other areas of the plumbing infrastructure haven’t been completely winterized, they can freeze. Usually, water that’s within the pipes freezes and that puts pressure on the plumbing system and causes pipes to burst. Pipes in certain areas of the home are more at risk of freezing. These include pipes in unheated areas, such as basements or garages; pipes in exterior walls of the home; and plumbing that’s located outdoors.
Winterize Your Exterior Plumbing
One simple step that homeowners can take during the winterization process is to disconnect their hoses and drain the system. Ideally, it’s important to have a frost proof spigot installed. Failing that step, talk with an experienced plumber about installing a faucet insulator. A few small investments can help minimize the risk to exterior plumbing, which can ultimately cause an interior pipe to burst. An experienced plumber can also evaluate your plumbing exterior to identify any areas that are particularly at risk for damage and propose solutions within your budget.
Winterizing Your Interior Plumbing
When a knowledgeable plumber is looking for high-risk areas of your home, he’ll focus on pipes that are located in areas which aren’t heated. Usually, basements are heated – but in cases where they aren’t, it’ll be on the target list. Other areas include pipes in unheated garages, attacks, and exterior buildings.
Exposed pipes should be insulated to help prevent freezing. There are many ways to do this. One is to ensure that walls are properly insulated for the temperatures. Another is looking at insulation solutions for pipes, which include foam insulation around the pipe or thermostatic activated tape that becomes active when temperatures drop too low. In areas with repeated problems where no other preventative measures seem to help, it’s possible to evaluate rerouting the pipe infrastructure.
Frozen pipes are a major problem for homeowners. Ultimately, you greatly reduce the risk by understanding what your plumbing infrastructure looks like and working proactively to avoid issues. When you run into a situation where pipes are still frozen, it’s important to have a trusted plumber on speed dial. If you find that your pipes are frozen, a local plumber can help address the situation quickly. The sooner that they get on site, the more likely they will be able to solve the problem and minimize structural damage. A plumber will help you identify the source of the problem, safely dethaw the pipes and take steps to ensure that stress is taken off the system where possible.
Are you a homeowner who is concerned about frozen pipes this winter? Contact a plumber in your area to arrange for a personalized consultation.