When the temperatures start to drop, homeowners have their work cut out for them preparing their properties for the winter. Of all the items on your to-do list, working to prevent your pipes from freezing should be at the very top.
Cold weather can cause your home’s water pipes to freeze. Now that might not sound like an issue at face value but a frozen pipe can quickly burst and lead to serious flooding. This can be especially problematic when there's no one around to turn off the water. To avoid disaster this winter, here are a few ways to prevent your home’s pipes from freezing.
Ice starts to form when temperatures reach 32° F (or 0° C) – freezing temperature. Those of us in cold climates such as Northern Colorado are accustomed to days that dip below freezing. Our piping, however, is not always prepared.
If for whatever reason your pipe starts to freeze, it can burst within 4 - 5 hours.
Water expands about 9% when it transforms to its solid-state. But that’s not necessarily where the issue lies when a pipe bursts. The problem actually stems from the pressure forming just on the other side of a frozen segment of pipe.
Pressure can build up to a staggering 25,000 psi behind a pipe obstruction. This is more than enough pressure to rupture a typical home pipe. The situation can quickly escalate once water starts escaping from the fissure. In a manner of minutes, devastating water damage can take hold.
You don’t have to stress about the potential chaos of a burst pipe. There are plenty of preventative measures you can take to protect your home this winter. Get ahead of freezing pipes with these tips:
When the weather starts to shift, the first thing on your agenda should be blowing out your sprinkler system. Even if you haven’t watered your lawn in weeks, stagnant water might still remain in the pipes and tubing of your sprinkler system. If it freezes at the main water supply line, you’ll have a messy situation on your hands.
Before temperatures dip to freezing, perform a sprinkler system blowout. You can do this yourself or consult a professional. Either way, this is typically done by attaching an air compressor to the system in order to force out any remaining water.
Another way to keep your pipes from freezing is to maintain a warm temperature in your home all season long. Be sure to run the heat as normal even when you’re away from the house. To conserve energy, you can turn it down lower than normal when you aren’t home. Anything above 55 degrees Fahrenheit should be warm enough to keep your pipes safe.
If you’re worried about specific pipes freezing, you can let your faucets drip to keep water flowing freely. Open faucets help to relieve any pressure within the system. As we went over, burst pipes aren’t typically due to the ice itself – it actually has more to do with the pressure within the pipes.
Another preventative measure you can take to keep your pipes from freezing is to add insulation. This is typically recommended for pipes in basements or attics where they are more vulnerable to icing over. When remodeling your home or adding on additional space, always make sure the contractor adds extra insulation to any pipes on exterior walls to ensure safety.
Before freezing weather goes into full effect, evaluate where you might need to seal up your home. Search for any gaps, cracks, and openings. Common problem areas include door frames and windows. You can also search along the exterior and interior walls to spot and seal gaps. You should check around cable holes and the area around pipes. This will help trap heat where it needs to be and protect your plumbing.
This is a good rule of thumb year-round. Any time you leave your home for an extended period of time, you should use your main water shut-off valve to turn off your water supply. You never know what might happen when you’re away from home. The last thing you want to deal with right after a trip is a burst pipe and a flooded basement.
Even with the most thorough preparation, you might still find yourself scrambling to deal with a burst pipe. Before anything else, take a deep breath. Panicking won’t serve you at this moment.
Find your main water shut-off valve and cut the supply. Open faucets to relieve pressure within the pipes. Now you’ll need to quickly remove the water from your home to avoid further damage. Depending on how much water is present, you can do this by either sopping it up with a towel or by using something like a bucket to carry out the water. Be sure to get as much moisture out as possible to reduce your risk of mold.
When you finish removing the water –or if you need help with this part of the process– call in the professionals. 970 Services is here for you when disaster strikes. We can repair the burst pipe, extract the water, and mitigate any mold issues. Get in touch for more information about our services!
I can’t recommend 970 Services enough! We had extensive hail damage & Andrew Golding came out & was so kind, grace filled & helpful. We had a hard time dealing with insurance & they partnered with me on the process making the roof replacement the easiest part of our hail damage experience. A++ you can’t go wrong! I absolutely would hire them again in a heartbeat.
We are very pleased with 970 Services work and their customer service. Our roof was damaged from hail and needed to be replaced. Aaron worked with our insurance supplemental team and ensured we got the full amount that was owed to us. He also made sure the work was done correctly on our roof with a post inspection. Very professional and friendly. Thank you 970 Services for all your help! Definitely recommend!
Steve and his crew have done several projects at our house (water remediation, painting, plumbing, minor electrical, etc.), and I would use them again in a heartbeat. They are professional, responsive, and do top quality work. Their detailed estimates show where every penny goes, and they let you know if something needs to change. It's a great feeling to know that I can reach out to Steve if there's a problem, and he'll find a way to solve it.
We had a water leak from our hot water heater and our insurance company recommended 970 Services. I cannot tell you how great they were. Steve scheduled us quickly, did a very thorough inspection of damages, set up drying equipment and got things headed in the right direction. He then coordinated all necessary sub contractors for drywall, flooring, and even requested to be present when the insurance adjuster arrived so that they couldn’t skimp on us. This is the company you want to work with and I will never call anyone else! Thank you Steve & 970!
WOW is the best word to describe our experience with this company and it’s employee’s! Talk about having integrity in what you do!!😃 The professionalism, attention to detail, craftsmanship and personable interactions blew my husband and me away. We have had plenty of not so good experiences and this company has restored our faith to trust a precessional to not only do their job well but to go above and beyond expectations. I’ve referred them to my family and friends and would refer them to any stranger. Thank you guys for taking such good care of our home! C. Rhamy