Winter is fast approaching us in Blue Springs, and with that comes colder and colder temperatures. The average low from December through February here is 24 degrees Fahrenheit (can you say freezing?!). Not only does this mean it is time to bundle up, but it also means to watch out for frozen pipes. From our water damage cleaning experts, here is all you need to know about frozen pipes and what you can do to help protect your home.
Not only are frozen pipes inconvenient, but they can also cause some pretty serious dangers to your home. The most obvious problem from a frozen pipe is the lack of running water. Inability to access running water can hinder daily tasks and functionality in the home, it is a huge inconvenience. The danger of a frozen pipe is damage to the pipe itself. As water inside the pipe freezes, it also expands. This expansion puts strain on the walls of the pipe and causes pressure to build up. Since pipes are not elastic, they can only handle so much pressure before they burst. If a pipe bursts, once that water thaws it will leak out and flood your home causing some serious water damage that will require immediate cleaning. Water damage can lead to mold growth and can threaten the structural integrity of your home.
There are definitely some pipes that are more prone to freezing than others in your home. Pipes located in areas that do not have heat or insulation, like garages, crawl spaces, attics, or exterior walls of the home, are more vulnerable to freezing than pipes centrally located in the home that are exposed to warm air. Any areas of the home that lack insulation and have no heat source to maintain the temperature are areas where pipes are more likely to freeze. Pipes that are in areas that are less frequently used, or are not living spaces, like basements or storage rooms, are also more vulnerable to freezing because they do not receive the same amount of heat as more inhabited areas of your home.
The first sign of a frozen pipe is the lack of running water when the faucet is turned on. If no water is coming out of the faucet, or only a very small trickle of water is coming out, your pipe is probably frozen. You can investigate further by looking for frost on pipes that can be seen (those that are under sinks and bathroom cabinets). Look for frost or excess water accumulation on the exterior of the pipe – this is a warning sign that the pipe is in fact frozen.
Pipes will freeze if they stay at a warm temperature. When the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you need to begin to take precautions to keep vulnerable pipes from freezing. One of the easiest ways to prevent pipes from freezing is to keep a slow, steady drip of water coming from the faucet. Doing this can help prevent a costly water damage cleaning in the future. Standing water in pipes is what will freeze, so as long as water is moving, even if it is just dripping, it cannot freeze. Another way to keep your pipes from freezing is to keep the heat on and at a set temperature day and night. Keeping pipes warm will prevent them from freezing. If you cannot heat certain areas of your home where there are vulnerable pipes, you can add extra insulation or heating tape to pipes. There are different kinds of pipe insulation so go check at your local hardware store to find what will work best for you. You should also keep cabinet doors under sinks open to allow the warm air to get in around the pipes.
If you find yourself dealing with water damage from frozen pipes this winter, or from any other cause, call the water damage cleaning experts at Kade Cleaning Systems.