Make Sure Pipes are Ready for Winter
With the change of season comes a change in responsibilities around the home. Homeowners rush to tick items off of spring cleaning checklists during the spring. When fall comes, everyone scurries around to rake up fallen leaves in preparation for winter. One of the responsibilities likely to be forgotten about as winter approaches are preparing the plumbing.
The winter is particularly hard on exposed plumbing around the home. Despite good installation practices and stringent building codes, frozen pipes are a common problem and can threaten a home's safety and integrity. Before relaxing from fall chores, take a moment and make sure the plumbing is ready for winter. Here is a quick guide from local plumbers to help everyone protect their pipes over the winter.
Why are Frozen Pipes Dangerous?
A frozen pipe may seem like little more than an inconvenience. Why is losing water to one little faucet or hose bib a problem? The loss of water service isn't the main threat. Massive flooding and water damage are.
When water freezes, it expands to about 10% larger than in its liquid form. The expanding water puts massive pressure on the pipe's wall, and the pipe can burst when it gets completely frozen. When that happens, sometimes the ice will stem the flow of water, and sometimes water will flow freely from the burst. Either way, water damage will result, whether delayed or immediate.
Water damage from a burst pipe can include consequences like:
- Ruined floors
- Sopping wet carpets
- Wall damage
- Mold infestation
- Swelled and ruined woodwork
Rehabilitation costs from burst pipes can be enormous so preventing pipe bursts is critical. Luckily preventing burst pipes from cold temperatures is easy with a few tricks.
How Can Pipe Insulation Help?
The first tool in the fight against frozen pipes is pipe insulation. Just like a warm winter coat or insulation in the walls of a home, pipe insulation slows down the cooling of pipes. Most of the time, all it takes is some pipe insulation to prevent frozen pipes, especially in temperate climates.
Pipe insulation is cheap and easy to install and carries another benefit apart from preventing frozen pipes. The insulation helps retain water temperature so hot water stays warm in pipes as it travels to its destination. Not only does this make hot water more comfortable to use, but it can also help lower utility bills by saving energy. In the long run, this helps offset the cost of insulating pipes and prevent nasty frozen pipes during the winter.
More Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes and Burst Pipes
Pipe insulation is a huge step toward preventing frozen pipes, but there are other tools in the toolbox. Some other great ways to stop frozen pipes and burst pipes are:
- Winterize hoses and hose bibs
- Leave faucets dripping in fixtures prone to freezing
- Schedule a plumbing inspection in the winter to find vulnerable pipes
- Always make sure professionals install new piping according to codes to prevent freezing
- Look into automatic cutoffs and moisture sensors to prevent damage from burst pipes
About E.R. Services
E.R. Services help residential and commercial customers prevent damage to their properties from burst pipes. Their skilled team handles plumbing problems anytime, day or night. Call today for plumbing service from technicians with over 25 years of experience serving Charlotte, NC.