The harsh and frigid cold of winter isn't just taxing on your skin and your hair, but it can be just as harmful to your home, particularly your pipes. Whenever the outside temperature drops below the freezing point, your pipes will be at an increased risk of freezing.
Danger Of Frozen Pipes
A frozen pipe can quickly turn into a disaster because of the danger of the pipe bursting. When your pipes freeze, the water inside turns to ice, which ultimately causes the pipes to expand. The pressure exerted on your pipes due to the ice inside can cause it to burst. Once this happens, you will have nothing short of a major flood inside your home on your hands.
Prevention And Protection
There are several measures you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Drip. Turn your faucet on just enough to allow for a constant drip of water. Keeping a slow drip flowing though is enough to decrease the level of pressure inside the pipe, which can help reduce the chance of freezing.
Foam. For homes located in colder climates, foam insulation is a better long-term solution. Many home improvement stores sell foam pipe insulator that is designed to easily wrap around your pipes. In addition to preventing freezing, the foam insulation can also help keep your water warmer.
Domes. Pipe domes are basically insulated faucet covers. These hard plastic devices are easily installed right over your outside water faucets to keep them freezing. Since the dome secures to the faucet, you only need to install it once for all-season protection.
In The Event Of An Emergency
Sometimes, Mother Nature will simply come out the victor. In cases of extreme or prolonged temperature drops, your prevention steps might not be enough to stop your pipes from freezing. If you're dealing with a frozen pipe that hasn't caused any additional damage, as a general rule of thumb, if you can locate the area that is frozen, you can use a hair dryer, hot water soaked towel or a heating pad to thaw the pipes.
However, if you cannot locate the specific area that is frozen, it's best to contact a plumber for assistance.
As the cold of winter quickly approaches, make sure you're first taking preventive steps to protect your home from frozen pipes and collecting the phone number of a local plumber such as Plumb Pros Plumbing Heating & Drains who will be able to help you in the event of an emergency.