6 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Home or Business
Iowa winters come with freezing temperatures and plenty of ice and snow, easily causing pipes to freeze. Frozen pipes are a problem because they prevent water flow and can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding in your home or business.
Water has a unique property, it expands as it freezes. This expansion causes an immense amount of pressure on whatever is containing it. No matter the strength of the pipe, expanding water can cause pipes to break. The good news is, there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing.
Which Pipes Are Most at Risk?
Pipes that are exposed to the outside elements and are along the exterior walls of your home. These pipes may need extra protection during the winter, which include the following:
- Outdoor hose hookups and faucets.
- Swimming pool supply lines.
- Lawn sprinkler lines.
- Water pipes in unheated, interior locations such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages and kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Pipes running against exterior walls with little or no insulation.
Preventing Frozen Pipes (Internal)
- Maintain Heat When Traveling- 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. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and prevent any water inside from freezing.
- Cold Water Drip- When the weather is below freezing outside, let the cold-water drip from the faucet. Allowing water to run through the pipes (even at a trickle) helps prevent pipes from freezing. When a pipe freezes the pressure created between the blockage and faucet will cause the pipes to burst. Leaving the faucet open will help avoid blockage in the pipes.
- Insulation- Adding insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces will help maintain higher temperatures in these areas. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeve to help decrease the chances of freezing.
- Seal the Gaps- Gaps may occur where the pipes come into the building and allow cold air in, which can expose the area where your pipes are most vulnerable. Seal these spaces/gaps with foam insulation or caulk.
- Open Cabinet Doors In some homes the kitchen and bathroom sinks can be located against an exterior wall. Locations such as these are not insulated as well and cold air from outside can freeze the pipes beneath the sinks. To help fight the influx of cold air, leave the cabinet doors open to assist the movement of warmer air.
- Keep Doors Closed: Close garage and basement doors, by keeping them closed it’ll help keep the temperature a little warmer in these areas and keep out the wind. This is important if there is a water supply line travelling through them, as these spaces are more at risk in freezing temperatures.
Preventing Frozen Pipes (External)
- Drain External Water Lines: Close internal valves that supply water to the exterior and drain water lines from the outside.
Water Damage Cleanup from Frozen Pipes
Once the main water valve is shut off and the pipes are repaired, SERPVRO of Mason City can be there to help with the cleanup and restoration. The longer the water sits in the building materials, the more potential for damage and mold growth.
SERVPRO of Mason City is licensed, experienced, and available 24/7 when it comes to returning your home or business to its preloss condition, “Like it never happened.” As soon as we arrive, the cleanup and restoration process will begin immediately.
SERVPRO® of Mason City is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at (641) 424-3382