In the coming winter months it would be a safe bet to assume that the cooler weather will result in optimum conditions for freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, this drop in temperature can cause an increase in home maintenance issues. Statistically more problems occur during the coldest months of the year than the warmer months. Frozen pipes are one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in the cold. Frozen pipes can result in flooding, structural damage and mold growth within your home.
What Causes Water Pipes to Break in Freezing Weather
What happens when your pipes freeze? When an ice blockage occurs in a pipe, the water inside the pipe freezes and expands causing the water pressure to increase between the blockage and the closed faucet at the end of the pipe. It is the increase in water pressure that will eventually cause the pipe to break. The water has to be cold enough to freeze before an ice blockage can occur. Outdoor faucets, sprinkler lines, water supply lines in basements, crawl spaces, attics and garages are all pipes in areas that are prone to freezing.
When the temperature drops, the experts at American Hometown Services recommend taking the necessary precautions to prevent your pipes from freezing.
• Winterize your home by insulating your walls and attic and weather-strip your doors and windows.
• Keep the garage door closed if you have water lines in the garage
• Inspect the insulation around the pipes in your crawl space or attic for tears
• Insulate your pipes with plastic wrap or newspapers
• Faucets should be left open at a slow drip to avoid freezing
• Keep your thermostat set consistently day and night to avoid sudden changes in temperature.
• Leave cabinet doors open under the sink
What to do if your Water Pipes Freeze
If you turn your faucet on and no water comes out, contact a professional plumber immediately. If a water pipe does burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve but leave the faucet on until your plumber has completed the repairs. Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame as this can cause damage to the pipe and even possibly start a fire. With the faucet turned on, apply heat to the pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe or use an electric hair dryer to thaw the pipes. Another solution is to wrap the pipes in towels that have been soaked in hot water. Work your way slowly towards the coldest section of pipe. Continue to apply heat until the water pressure is completely restored. If you cannot reach the frozen area or if you are unable to thaw the pipe out using the suggested methods, call a licensed plumber for assistance.
Professional Water Extraction, Flood Damage Restoration & Mold Remediation in Quincy, Macomb, Hamilton, Warsaw & East Alton Illinois | Hannibal, Missouri | Norman, Oklahoma
If your basement or home is flooding, turn of the water valve and contact American Hometown Services immediately. Our restoration specialists will inspect the damage and develop a plan of action to remove the standing water and restore your home to its original condition. For more information about water damage restoration or mold remediation contact the knowledgeable professionals at American Hometown Services today.