FROZEN PIPES -7 WAYS TO AVOID THEM IN YOUR PITTSBURGH HOME
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage in cold weather conditions. A pipe that has burst or cracked can cost you more than 5k in damages according to the IBHS research.
There are effective ways to reduce your risk of pipe freezing if you prepare in advance. Here are some suggestions.
- First and foremost, let your faucets drip. Not much is more effective than this technique to avoid frozen pipes. Dripping your faucets means water is flowing through the pipe which keeps the water from freezing. When water freezes, it expands, and when expanded water is in a closed pipe system, it created more pressure than the pipes can handle, especially pipes made from copper.
- Keep the temperature indoors from dropping below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help to keep the interior parts of your plumbing warm enough to prevent freezing.
- Be sure your attic areas are properly insulated in the recessed areas, corners, and connections to walls. Any holes there will cause the temperature in the wall to drop down with the weather.
- Make sure all your doors and windows are sealed properly. Most of the energy lost in a home are through the windows and doors. The less you fight indoor temperatures, the warmer your walls and flooring will be. This can help pipes to stay warmer.
- We all know to insulate and wrap our pipes, but sprinkler systems need to be winterized too. You should check them regularly or use a central station to provide early detection of a pipe rupture.
- Be sure your outlets have been insulated. Some homes are built without the proper insulation at the outlets. When this happens, a huge gap in your structure allows air to enter and exit at will.
- You can purchase what is called a monitored automatic excess flow switch that can detect a broken pipe or valve early. It is placed on the main incoming domestic water line.
Contrary to what some believe, the risk of frozen pipes doesn't go away when the temperatures begin to warm up. The reality is that when a pipe freezes the frozen water may act as a plug which may keep problems from going unnoticed.
When it comes to hiring pros to get the job done the name to call is W.J. McNabb Plumbing LLC. With well over 30 years of experience our crew knows what it takes to fix any type of plumbing related issue. Our commitment to offering the best in quality products, customer care, workmanship and pricing is part of what makes us number one in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.
So before you check to see if you have an issue when temperatures increase, be sure to shut off the water supply or it can increase your damage risks.
Don't ever, ever use a propane torch to thaw your pipes. You don't want to create another or worse risk of damage due to fire by trying to use fire to prevent damage from freezing weather. It simply isn't worth the risk. You should also keep in mind to never have a fire anywhere near your gas lines or gas fed appliances.
It's never too late to winterize your home or plumbing, so it's a good idea to hire someone to do it if it hasn't been done. If you do happen to suffer with frozen pipes this winter and you need help of any kind, you can count on our plumbing experts at W.J. McNabb Plumbing LLC.