Frozen pipes in winter can burst and cause a lot of damage to your house but regular maintenance can ensure that your water pipes don't freeze in cold weather.
Frozen pipes can cut off the water supply to your house, and is one of the several ways that one must take to ensure the house is weatherproof. You might have to pay for some costly repairs if any pipes freeze, burst and damage the structure of the house. You should regularly carry out maintenance tasks so that you don’t face any problems when the winter sets in.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes in the Winter
- Pipes that run along the exterior of the house, the basement of the house, the attic or the garage are exposed to inclement weather and are more likely to freeze. In addition, the area where the main water supply pipe to the house is situated is more likely to freeze in winter. Both cold water pipes and hot water pipes can freeze. Once the water in the pipe turns to ice, it expands and occupies more space. This can cause the pipe to burst.
- Pipes that are likely to freeze should be identified and insulated with foam tubes that are available in the market. The tubes have to be fitted around water pipes. These insulators keep the pipes warm and prevent the water from freezing. Electric heating tape can also be used to insulate pipes. Fiberglass insulation can be inserted between the pipes and the walls to protect external pipes from freezing. Extra insulation should also be placed in the area where the main water supply enters the house as this area is prone to freezing.
Dealing with Frozen Pipes
- It's important to keep the water running on cold days so that it moves through the pipes. This can be done by keeping several faucets running in the house. Keeping the house closed for some time can result in loss of heat inside the house. In order to prevent frozen pipes and pipe bursts on such occasions, you should drain them so that they do not have any water in them. This can be done by turning off the house's water supply and then running the faucets in the house until the water stops flowing.
- Cracks and holes in external walls near water pipes should be sealed. Kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors should also be kept open in cold weather to allow warm air to circulate and prevent the house from losing heat. If there are frozen pipes in your home, have them repaired by the plumber at the earliest to decrease the risk of pipe bursting. Never try to thaw out frozen pipes with fire or a heating device as this can damage the pipe.