Are Your Pipes Ready for the Dip in Temperatures?
The onset of winter is always an exciting time. The holidays bring with them joyous get-togethers, and the anticipation of a new year hangs in the air. However, the change in weather can bring certain consequences that can be troublesome for the homeowner. One of the worst things that can happen to a home’s plumbing is suffering a burst pipe. Pipes can burst for a variety of reasons. Most often, though, pipes burst because they have been subjected to freezing temperatures.
Luckily, there are things that homeowners can do to protect their homes from burst pipes and the damage that they can cause.
What Dangers do Frozen Pipes Present?
Knowing where to look for pipes that are vulnerable to freezing is the first step to preventing the damage they could do. Irrigation systems and outdoor hose bibbs very commonly freeze when the temperatures drop. Winterizing irrigation systems and outdoor hydrants should be part of every homeowner’s winter checklist, along with draining hoses. If homeowners use a landscaping company, they should be sure to ask them about draining and winterizing their irrigation system.
Another common place to look for pipes prone to freezing is basements, garages, and crawl spaces. Pipes in basements and crawl spaces can sometimes be installed too close to exterior walls, exposing them to the cold. Plumbers are very good at locating these so that homeowners can take care of them before problems arise. For pipes located in garages, garage doors must stay closed during the winter to keep the frigid air from damaging anything within that was intended to always be in a controlled environment.
When frozen pipes burst, they can cause flooding rapidly. Uncontrolled water can ruin floors, walls, and landscaping, depending on where the burst pipe is located. Costs can include the cost of the water that was wasted, pipe repair, and remediation of the damage caused by the flood.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
The first step in preventing frozen pipes is working with a qualified local plumber during installation. Properly installed pipes shouldn’t be prone to freezing. Since it is not always possible to know what pipes are prone to freezing, a local plumber can advise homeowners about what pipes may be vulnerable. They can also advise about steps that can be taken and materials that can be used to prevent frozen pipes.
The most common products used to prevent frozen pipes are insulation and heat tape. Insulation comes in the form of precut cylinders of fiberglass or foam insulation that is wrapped around the pipe and sealed.
Heat tape is an electrical solution to freezing pipes. Heat tape uses electrical resistance to gently warm a pipe during a cold snap. The heat tape is wrapped around the pipe and left indefinitely to prevent it from freezing.
It is also important that hose bibbs be insulated. The best way to accomplish this is by draining hoses and attaching foam covers to all outdoor hose hook-ups.
About E.R. Plumbing Services
E.R. Plumbing Services has been serving Charlotte since 1997. They remain on call 24-hours a day to respond quickly to plumbing emergencies like burst pipes. Residential and commercial customers alike love their quick turnarounds and zero-surprise pricing. Don't hesitate to call E.R. Plumbing Services for burst pipe repair in Charlotte, and any other services you need this holiday season.