We can all agree that frozen pipes can present a whole lot of challenges and problems for home and business owners. The team here at Steve Mull Plumbing wants to provide some simple steps you can take before the frigid temperatures set in. These simple steps can easily save you a good deal of money on unnecessary plumbing repairs and costly water damage.
When severe winter temperatures arrive, your home or business can be threatened. One major threat is that of frozen pipes. When pipes freeze, they can crack and over time even burst causing a tremendous amount of damage and very costly plumbing repairs. With that said, the ideal time to winterize your home or business is in advance of those frigid cold weather temperatures. To help keep your plumbing pipes from freezing and avoiding unnecessary plumbing costs and repairs, take time out to acquaint yourself with the helpful tips we have shared below.
What Causes Pipes to Freeze?
As water freezes, it expands. This is a common occurrence in your plumbing system when the temperatures outside fall below freezing. When water and ice expand in your metal or plastic pipes, pressure occurs. When the pipes can no longer handle all the pressure they will crack and, in many cases, even burst. Once pipes crack, they must be immediately repaired or else they can burst causing tremendous damage to the interior of your home or business. The areas of your home or business that are unheated are more susceptible to cracked or bursting pipes. Areas such as basements, attics, crawl spaces, or garages are typically not well protected against the frigid cold weather temperatures. Also, pipes within kitchen cabinets and even those in the exterior walls can all be affected by cold temperatures.
Steps to Take to Avoid Frozen Pipes
First and foremost, it is important that you are familiar not only with your plumbing pipes and system but with the shut off valves in your home or business.
- To avoid water damage, it is good practice to perform preventative maintenance regularly. We highly recommend that each and every year you have your plumbing system inspected and serviced by our team of professionals in your efforts to stay atop of any small problems that may arise before they turn into major problems.
- Be sure to drain all your outdoor water lines – Before the onset of the cold weather months, be sure to completely empty or drain outdoor water lines that you use for sprinkler systems or swimming pools. Disconnect any hoses and drain them completely and then close off all the valves on the outdoor hoses.
- Invest in some extra insulation – Those pipes located in the unheated areas of your home or business such as the basements, attics, crawl spaces and even your garage, require extra insulation. Whether you choose rubber, foam or fiberglass insulation, matters not. What’s important is that you insulate all the at-risk pipes and all the pipes in those unheated areas of your home or business.
- Keep faucets running slightly – When the frigid temperatures are forecasted, it is wise to leave faucets in the coldest, unheated areas of your home or business trickling a bit. When you allow the faucets to trickle the pipes will not freeze because there is a slow flow of water.
- Open up sink cabinet doors if necessary – To expose warm air to pipes underneath kitchen or bathroom sinks, it may make good sense to keep the cabinet doors ajar just a little bit. It is important that all plumbing pipes have some semblance of heat, otherwise pipes located in colder areas may very well freeze. It may be a good idea to use a small heater in the coldest areas to keep the pipes slightly warm.
- Keep your home or business warm – You should never turn the heat off when the temperatures outside are frigid. That includes when you are away from your home or business for an extended period of time. If you turn the heat off altogether, you are increasing the risk for frozen pipes or bursting pipes. The water damage that can occur will more than likely be costly as well as the plumbing repairs themselves. So, to avoid these issues keep the temperature in your home or business warm when the temperatures outside are near to freezing or below and keep the heat on a bit when you are away.
There You Have It
At Steve Mull Plumbing we are steadfast in our commitment to provide our clients with the highest quality parts and services this side of the state. We take pride not only in our superior products and services but in providing our clients with all the insight they need to properly maintain their plumbing pipes and systems season after season.
For more information on how to avoid frozen pipes, to schedule an inspection and preventative maintenance of your plumbing pipes or to upgrade your home or business plumbing system, reach out to the pros here at Steve Mull Plumbing today! Winter is fast approaching, so don’t delay!