Preventing Frozen Pipes
Even in warmer climates like the Lowcounty, freezing pipes in a home can be a major concern. You may not think about it, but one forgotten night of below freezing temperatures can cause some major damage to your pipes.
What Causes Pipes to Freeze?
The first step is to understand what causes them to freeze. There’s always a chance that piping in a home will have it’s issues but those chances drastically increase during freezing temperatures. Not only does this keep you from getting any water, it also has the potential to make your pipes burst from freezing and expanding. This can easily rack up thousands of dollars in repairs.
This predicament is most common in spaces like attics but it can also happen to the pipes under your sink if it’s cold enough. Luckily, there are easy ways to prevent this.
Now that you know what causes your pipes to freeze, the next step is to know how to stop it from happening.
Run Some Water
The easiest and most effective way to keep pipes from bursting is to let your faucet in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry area slightly drip. Make sure to use both the cold and hot water. This small drip will keep the water moving in your pipes and prevent it from freezing.
Insulating your pipes is a great way to keep them from freezing. This is especially true for attics and basements.
The Home Depot goes into detail on pipe insulation with a step-by-step video.
Let People Know if You’ll be Away
If you leave on a trip during the winter months make sure you will be able to reach out to someone in case the temperature goes below freezing and have them turn on your faucets. If you are renting, make sure to inform either your property manager or landlord.
What if they Freeze?
Let’s say you weren’t aware of how problematic freezing temperatures can be to your pipes and they end up freezing. What do you do next?
First of all, don’t panic. You’ll know that it’s frozen if you turn on the faucet and only a small trickle of water comes out. Make sure to inform your property manager or landlord of this issue when renting. They’ll more than likely want to deal with the issue themselves.
If you’re not renting and the pipes haven’t burst yet then there are ways to thaw the pipes safely.
- Locate the frozen section of the pipe
- Use either a hair dryer, heating pad, or heated, damp towel on the frozen section
- Turn up the heat in your home
If these options aren’t working or you find a damaged section of the pipe, call a professional plumber immediately!