Frozen Pipes and How to Prevent Them

Frozen Pipes and How to Prevent Them

Living in Canada comes with countless benefits, but the cold weather is not always one of them. Due to extreme winter weather conditions and freezing temperatures, property owners are more susceptible to frozen water pipes in the cold winter months. If you don’t already know, the issue with frozen water pipes lies in the water itself. Water is an extremely powerful element that can do a lot of damage. When water freezes, it expands, this expansion puts enormous pressure on pipes that encase it, causing them to break or even explode. When these water pipes burst, they spill hundreds of gallons of water per hour, resulting in thousands of dollars of damages to your home. (and a really big water bill) Pipes that freeze are most commonly the ones exposed to the extreme cold such as, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler supply lines, outdoor hose bibs, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, attics and garages. In addition, any pipes that run along exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also more likely to freeze.

If luck is on your side and your pipes have frozen but not yet burst, its time to thaw! In this situation, its important to work fast and thaw out the frozen water. First, open your faucets and check for water flow, if water is only trickling or dripping, its likely that your pipes are frozen. Don’t panic, Here are some tips and tricks to melt the ice in your water pipes:

  • Keep all faucets on, water flow will help break up the ice and promote water flow. 
  • This will also indicate to you the severity of the case if the ice is melting.
  • Apply heat to sections of the pipe using electric heating pads, blow-dryers, portable heaters (keep away from flammable materials)
  • DO NOT use a blow torch, kerosene, propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device
  • Keep applying heat to the pipes as needed until full water pressure is restored
  • If you can’t find the frozen area of the pipe or the frozen area is not accessible, call a professional to help thaw out your pipes

It’s obvious that frozen water pipes can be dangerous, costly, and damaging to your property, So here are a few tips to follow to prevent this from happening to your property:

  • Keep Garage Door closed if there is a water supply line located in the garage.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas
  • Drain the water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines, and store hoses used outdoors.
  • Close inside valves supplying water toe outside hose bibs.
  • Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F

The last thing that you need in the winter-time is a frozen water supply. By following some of these tips and tricks, you can hopefully avoid the pain of a burst pipe or frozen a frozen water supply, but if you do experience a burst pipe and frozen water that is not treatable by you, call a professional. It’s important to stay safe and remediate these issues as fast as possible. Call the experts at restoration services to help mitigate damages and give you the knowledge to make sure this doesn’t happen to your property again.

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