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Prepare Your Pipes for a Winter Wonderland

Can Your Pipes Handle the Current and Coming Temperatures?

It’s that time of year again. Autumn is falling away to winter, and the temperatures are beginning to drop like the leaves from the trees. And along with dropping temperatures come concerns for household plumbing. Although it’s a typical conversation every winter, plumbers are still flooded with calls about burst pipes after the first cold night. And those calls don’t stop until spring comes around and the temperatures start to climb again. 

So, it’s time to revisit the dangers of frozen pipes and the various ways to prevent them from happening. No one wants to deal with the hassle and expense of repiping, and below are several ways to make sure it doesn’t happen. 

How Dangerous are Frozen Pipes?

frozen pipes

Frozen pipes can be more dangerous than many people think. When ice builds up in a pipe, it creates a pressure buildup behind the ice. When that pressure gets too great, it can burst a pipe. But the break doesn’t happen right at the ice. In fact, it typically happens several inches behind the frozen portion of the pipe. And even a small pinhole leak can cause all kinds of damage to floors and walls. 

If a leak goes unnoticed, it can damage the home’s structure, rotting wood and causing mold to grow. If the leak happens around the foundation, it can cause the house to shift slowly, developing cracks in the walls and requiring that a professional company comes in to shore up the house so the foundation doesn’t drop anymore. The dangers of frozen pipes vary with the severity of the leak. It can, at the very least, disrupt the flow of water into the home and cost a pretty penny to repair. 

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Preventing frozen pipes is fairly straightforward. One of the best ways to do it is by protecting outdoor fixtures by installing faucet covers. But this is only one step. Homeowners should also ensure that their thermostat is set to 55-degrees Fahrenheit or above during the winter months. If the heater is allowed to run, it will help keep the pipes warm. 

Another good tactic is to leave faucets dripping slowly. This helps to alleviate the water pressure in the pipes and to keep the water moving. When the water is flowing, even at a slow pace, it can help ward-off freezing. Finally, it’s imperative that homeowners insulate their pipes. There are a few different types of insulation, all of which will help protect the pipes from freezing temperatures. 

Different Types of Pipe Insulation

While it’s a good idea to hire a professional to insulate all the plumbing in a home, many homeowners find it easy to perform DIY insulation of a few exposed pipes. There are several different types of pipe insulation that make this easy. The most common type is made out of foam and comes with a slit down its length for easy installation. It’s best to tape foam insulation down the slit once it’s installed. However, there is a type of self-sealing foam insulation that comes with a paper strip down the slit so it can be installed, the paper easily removed, and the foam sealed together. 

pipes

Finally, there is spray foam insulation, which is ideal for those hard-to-reach pipes and outdoor fixtures. For bigger jobs, a professional should be employed to use foam insulation. But for smaller jobs, a homeowner can purchase a small can of this type of pipe insulation at the local hardware store. All of these types of pipe insulation can be bought locally and easily installed to help keep pipes from freezing.

About A+ Drain Cleaning & Plumbing

The people at A+ Drain Cleaning & Plumbing have been happy to serve Nampa, ID, for more than a decade. Their techs show up on time, perform expert work, and leave the place tidier than they found it. They offer a guarantee on every job and upfront pricing on all work. Call now for plumbing services!