When you live in an area that experiences cold winter months, you know that you need to perform extra lengths to keep your property safe until the warmer weather returns. Winter can play havoc on both the exterior and interior of structures. One of the most common issues you may be faced with is frozen pipes. When the water is so cold, it can freeze and turn to ice inside the pipes.
The pipes may crack or break apart completely. You may not even notice until the ice melts and the water leaks out of the pipe. This can cause significant damage to the property if it is not fixed in time. This guide goes over some do-it-yourself tips for preventing frozen pipes and how to handle it if happens to you.
Keep an eye on the forecast during the winter months. When the weather drops below freezing, it's good to start the prevention measures. One of the best ways is to keep all the faucets running at a very low trickle. This will help keep the water from freezing inside the pipes. Another way to prevent pipes from freezing is adding insulation in areas like attics, crawl spaces, and basements. These are typically the coldest parts of the house in the winter due to drafts getting in from outside. By blocking the drafty area with insulation, the pipes in those areas will be less likely to freeze.
Fixing Frozen Pipes
If you have frozen pipes, there are a few methods you can try to unfreeze them and get the water flowing again before the pipes burst.
Blow dryer – Take a blow dryer and aim it towards the exposed pipe for several minutes. Pass it over different parts of the pipe for best results.
Electrical heat tape – If you know your pipes are prone to freezing in the winter, you can wrap electrical heat tape over them. The tape adds an extra measure of protection against the cold.
Space heaters – In some areas, you may be able to place a small space heater in front of the frozen pipes. It works the same as the blow dryer but can cover more area and works faster.
Should your pipes burst before you are able to unfreeze them, then you will need the assistance of professional plumbers. They will locate the damaged pipe and be able to replace it for you.