Did you know that the average low temperature for December in Minneapolis is only 4 degrees Fahrenheit? If you think that is cold, January’s average low is only 6 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by 9 degrees in February! It is safe to say that the weather is not getting warmer any time soon. Freezing temperatures mean that our pipes are at an increased risk of freezing, and frozen pipes mean your home is at an increased risk of water damage. Here is the low down of what you need to know when it comes to frozen pipes.
The first thing you need to know when it comes to frozen pipes is that it is more than just an inconvenience. When water freezes, it expands. If the water inside pipes freezes, that expansion causes increased pressure inside your pipes. Pipes do not have any give, so when pressure pushes against the walls, it has to find a way out. Typically, that means that leaks or bursts will occur in order to release the pressure. When the water thaws, it will find its way out of the pipe through those vulnerable spots which leads to water damage in your home. So, how can you tell if a pipe is frozen? The first, and most obvious sign, that water in your pipes is frozen is the lack of running water when the faucet is turned on. You can also detect frozen pipes by looking for water accumulation or frost on the pipe’s exterior. Pipes that are located in areas of your home that do not have access to heat or lack insulation to help maintain the temperature (like basements, crawl spaces, garages, attics, or even along exterior walls of your home) are more prone to freezing. Be sure to take extra precautions for these pipes, and keep your eye on them as the temperature drops below freezing so you can find and even prevent frozen pipes before they become a big problem.
Preventing frozen pipes is actually easier than it seems. One way to keep the water in your pipes running to sinks or bathtubs from freezing is to leave a slow and steady drip of water coming from the faucet. Standing water freezes, while moving water will not – even if it is just a slow drip, that movement will prevent water from freezing. Another option is to add insulation to exterior pipes, or pipes that are located in those colder areas of your home. Most hardware stores carry pipe insulation that can easily be installed, and some even have electric options to help thaw a pipe if it is already frozen. Be sure to leave the cabinet doors under your sink open to allow the warm air to reach the pipes. You may even want to utilize a space heater in rooms where the temperature is not as easily regulated – just use caution whenever using a space heater and do not leave them unattended.
Now that you have the 411 on frozen pipes, we are going to leave you with one last tip. If you find yourself in need of water damage repair, whether from frozen pipes or any other source, call 24 Restore. We are your neighborhood experts on water damage repair, and can get the problem taken care of quickly and thoroughly. So be sure to stay warm this winter, and let 24 Restore handle any water damage repair you may need.