Preventing Frozen Pipes
Winter is officially here. The temperatures have dropped and the storms are rolling in. Ohio is definitely no exception. Home and apartment owners know that with cold weather comes the damaging effect of it. One of these damaging effects is that of freezing and bursting pipes.
How Frozen Pipes Happen
To understanding how frozen pipes occur, it’s important to understand the properties of water. When water freezes it expands. Your plumbing system is made up of a series of pipes that moves the water in, out and around your home. If the home isn’t properly insulated, the water is at risk of freezing when the temperatures drop. If the water freezes and expands, the ice causes blockages in the pipes. The pipes don’t actually break because the ice blockages themselves, but rather because of the pressure created in the pipes from those blockages.
What’s at Risk?
The most common places for frozen pipes are where the home is most susceptible to the cold temperatures. The outer walls of a home have limited layers of insulation and sit directly next to the cold weather outside. Frozen pipes are especially common with sinks that sit against an outside wall. Attics, basements and crawl spaces are drafty, inviting the cold air in, and also lack insulation. Additionally, the pipes outside of your home, like your sprinkler systems, are at risk of freezing.
How to Prevent Freezing Pipes
It’s a good idea to properly insulate your home and pipes to help eliminate the chances of freezing. See that the pipes that run near the outside walls and in the attic, basement and crawl spaces are wrapped with pipe insulation or heating tape. Make sure your heat in your home is no lower than 68 degrees and that the windows are properly sealed to prevent escaping heat and drafty winds from entering. At bedtime, open the cabinet doors under the sink so that the air can circulate around them. When you put your yard to rest for the winter, be sure to disconnect the garden hoses and drain the hoses and pipes.
Frozen pipes can lead to bursting pipes, which leads to water damage and headaches for you as a homeowner. To maintain your home’s good condition, know what’s at risk of damage and how to prevent it. Taking action now will save you damages in the future. However, if ever you’re caught in a plumbing disaster, know that we’re just a call away to help assist you.