Of all the nasty issues that can afflict your home’s plumbing, frozen pipes are probably among the worst. If your pipes freeze, it means more than simply being unable to use them. You could be looking at ruptures and water damage. Read on in order to find out why frozen pipes are such a problem, as well as what you can do about them.
Why Frozen Pipes are an Issue
Frozen pipes are such a problem because water expands when it freezes. When water freezes inside a pipe, it pushes outwards and puts a lot of pressure on the pipe walls. Enough pressure will cause the pipe to rupture, which is bad news for you. This is why it’s so important to take steps to protect your pipes.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Not all pipes are susceptible to freezing. The ones that are tend to be located outside the home, on an outside wall or in areas with little-to-no insulation. If you have pipes that you know to be especially vulnerable, take care to drain them if you can. If you need to use the pipes during winter, make sure that they’re insulated by a professional to prevent freezing. If you’re heating the home, make sure that the warm air can reach the pipes to help prevent them from freezing.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you’ve already got a frozen pipe, there are still things you can do. Open the faucet all the way, so that when the ice starts to melt it will be able to escape. Under constant supervision, warm the area with a space heater. Do NOT leave the area unattended while the heater is still on. Try to warm the affected area by turning up the heat and opening the cabinet doors to expose the pipes to the warmth. If nothing else seems to work, give us a call and we’ll take care of the problem for you.