How to Prevent and Fix Frozen Pipes
Every winter brings cold temperatures, and with those cold temperatures homeowners need to be on alert for frozen pipes. If pipes have water in them and are exposed to freezing temperatures, the pipe can expand and burst. This can cause serious damage to your home and property. Your home can end up flooded. Sometimes the pipes don’t burst — they crack, and this can also cause major water damage because the crack can cause a slow leak that could go undetected for months. In either case your home is at risk for water damage.
Follow these preventative measures to avoid frozen, broken, and leaky pipes:
- Disconnect garden hoses and turn off water to sprinkler systems and exterior faucets. Jim Dandy can come and winterize your home in order to keep this issue from happening. Winterizing your home prevents water from freezing and pipes from cracking or bursting. When warmer weather hits, we can then come de-winterize your home to get your outside hoses and pipes running with water again. We can also turn your sprinkler system back on.
- Insulate interior exposed pipes with a pipe sleeve or thermostatically controlled heat tape. This is especially important in attics, garages, and crawl spaces. You may think that interior pipes cannot burst but if you turn down the thermostat when you leave home for extended periods or go out of town those already cold places in your home can become frozen.
- If the weather is really cold, let cold water drip from a faucet of an exposed pipe. Even just a trickle of water will help keep pipes from freezing. Allowing water to run keeps it from freezing because it is constantly moving. Make sure to do this especially if you have fixtures that do not get used very often, such as a basement sink or tub.
- Going on a trip? Be sure and leave the heat on. Keeping your house heat set no lower than 55-60 degrees will prevent frozen pipes. Many people like to turn off the heater altogether when taking a trip, but they risk having their pipes freeze. Avoid this problem. Keeping on the heat will save you a lot of money in the long run as opposed to having a pipe crack or burst, flooding your whole home.
If you haven’t taken preventative measures, how do you tell if your pipes are frozen? Here are some indications:
- Clanking or whistling pipes? This could indicate that a pipe is dented or damaged and a there is an increase in water pressure. If this happens, call Jim Dandy at 206-966-4548 or 425-454-8153 immediately. If ignored, this could cause pressure in your pipes, which could cause leaks or burst pipes. Ignoring problems does not solve anything. It does not make the problem go away. In fact, it only makes it worse for when the issue decides to show itself.
- Does water barely drip out your faucets or stop entirely? If you turn on the water and nothing comes out, this could be the sign of a break in the pipe because there is no water left in the pipes. If water does not come out of the faucet, call Jim Dandy. This is an issue that needs to be taken care of immediately. You need water, don’t you?
- Wet or icy pipes. If you see condensation or frost on exposed pipes (like in your basement or attic), this could be a sign that your pipes have frozen. Having a professional look at it could be beneficial. They can tell if your pipes have frozen over or not.