You may be happy about winter because you can indulge in a slew of your favorite activities, like ice fishing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. You might not be so happy about the frigid temperatures though. We’re talking about the ones so cold that you can walk outside and get frostbite in just minutes. Your pipes won’t be too happy about the dropping temperatures, either.
When temperatures drop, it increases the chance for water pipes to freeze. When pipes freeze, the increase in pressure can cause the pipes to burst. Think about the time you left a can of pop in the freezer or your car for too long. It probably exploded, right? Frozen pipes react in a similar fashion, and if the water isn’t shut off right away, major flooding can occur in your home. Keeping pipes above freezing point during the winter is crucial to avoid this problem.
Let’s talk prevention!
Keep the heat on, especially if you’ll be out of town for an extended period of time. The heat doesn’t have to be high, but should provide enough warmth to keep pipes warm. Let the faucet drip a small amount of water, as it relieves pressure on your pipes. The pressure in the pipe is what causes them to burst, so the faucet doesn’t need to be gushing water, but both the warm and cold taps should be open slightly. Open the cabinets that house pipes, as well as interior doors. The heat from your home will spread to your pipes and warm them, too.
If you have a bit more time, you’ll want to take further steps to prevent your pipes from freezing. Seal any spots where leaks may be occurring, such as cracks and gaps. Caulk or spray foam insulation can take care of this problem on both interior and exterior walls or floors. You can try applying heating tape to pipes, too. It acts like an electric blanket. As mentioned before, pipes should be properly insulated. In areas where pipes are exposed (think basements or attics), you can insulate them with sleeves of insulation. If pipes in walls, floors, or ceilings are in need of insulation, you may need to call in the experts. Even extra insulation in walls and ceilings can help.
If your pipes do happen to burst, the experts at Royal Renovations can help with water damage, including water extraction, odor control, carpet cleaning, and mold remediation. Give us a call at 320-743-3440 to find out how we can help!