Frozen Pipes: Causes, Prevention and Solutions
What to Do When you have Frozen Pipes
Virginia homeowners should be prepared to deal with the possibility of frozen pipes. The temperature in the winter months, even in Southern Virginia, can drop suddenly. An Arctic blast can cause temperatures to drop below freezing in Midwest and Eastern portions of the U.S. In some unusually long cold spells, those consistent frigid temperatures can freeze water pipes or pipes that are not well insulated especially when combined with prolonged power outages. During a major winter storm such as a blizzard, strong winds and heavy wet snow and ice can break branches, damage power lines, and cause power outages that could last for hours or even days. With the power out and the heating system not working, pipes may eventually freeze up and in some cases burst. A homeowner that experiences this situation may not even know a leak or problem exists until the frozen pipe begins to thaw.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes:
One of the most frustrating experiences during winter can be dealing with frozen pipes. Not only is it a major inconvenience, but it can also cause significant damage to your home if the pipes burst. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to help prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Make sure that all exposed pipes are properly insulated – this will help to keep the heat in and the cold out.
- Seal any cracks or gaps around doors and windows to help reduce the amount of cold air that can enter your home.
- Drip your faucets: let water drip from your faucets during periods of very cold weather.
- Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature both day and night; A sudden drop in temperature can cause pipes to freeze, so it’s important to maintain a steady temperature throughout the day and night.
By taking these simple precautions, you can help to prevent frozen pipes and the costly damage they can cause.
If you find yourself having to deal with frozen pipes, what do you do?
If water is leaking or rushing out from a burst frozen pipe, you will need to know how to shut off the water. Knowing where your main water shut off valve is and how to turn it off is always good to know BEFORE a plumbing emergency. A leaking water heater or busted water pipe can cause major water damage, even in normal temperatures. Because of the many different situations, you may face regarding plumbing leaks and frozen pipes, it is best to call on our professional plumbers right away. At A-1 Sewer & Drain, we are available 24 hours a day. Don’t wait, because the damage can grow to become much more costly if not handled quickly and correctly. When it comes to leaking water, you face the possibility of extensive water damage, loss of property and possessions, including possible health issues with mold. If your home or vacation home is a much older home or if you are concerned about the potential for freezing pipes, you should have it looked at by a licensed plumber before the winter. Vacation homes or homes that are empty during winter months are at risk if not properly winterized.
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