Learning how to prevent pipes from freezing can be a total lifesaver, especially this winter. Usually, when a pipe freezes, the damage goes way beyond a simple plumbing replacement. When things get worse, all your personal possessions in your basement, not to mention your walls, ceilings, and floors can be totally ruined. As you can expect, this situation can get really costly. Yes, it could sometimes be covered by your insurance. But that of course, doesn’t take away the inconvenience of having to live in a construction zone for days or even weeks.
In this particular situation, there is just no middle ground. You can choose to cross the bridge when you get there – deal with the cost and the hassle of a pipe freezing and eventually bursting. Or you can simply stop it before it even happens. Remember that bursting pipes don’t come with a forewarning. No, they do not start with a small leak. There is absolutely no heads up here.
Needless to say, keeping your pipes from freezing is the better option. So if you decide to take action, here are some tips for you:
- Insulate the Pipes
There may be unheated spaces where pipes run through. If there are, make sure the pipes are covered with enough insulation. Yes, that includes those the run through your home’s interior. There are available pre-formed pipe sleeve insulations you can get. You can also just use fiberglass.
- Heat the Pipes
In addition or in lieu of a simple insulation, you can try heating your pipes using an electrical heating tape. However, this is also a more costly option. Whichever you choose, be sure to take into account your hot water pipes, too. Yes, you probably have a plumbing system with pipes that carry hot water exclusively, but that doesn’t mean they won’t freeze.
- Shut Off the Water Flow
If you have a pipe that has already frozen but hasn’t burst yet, you should immediately shut off the water flow going to the pipe. You would also want to slowly thaw the frozen pipe by heating it. You have to be sure that it won’t boil or becomes too hot to touch. That means welding torches are out of the question. A hairdryer would be more helpful in this situation.
There you go. Three very simple ways to help prevent frozen pipes. If you need professional assistance with your pipes and other plumbing concerns, do not hesitate to contact Hayes Plumbing. Our expert plumbers are available to help you 24/7!