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When Defrosted Pipes Equals A Plumbing Disaster

When the temperatures get frosty, your thoughts may just naturally turn to crackling fires, hot cocoa, and snuggling up for a movie night. Unfortunately, the way your plumbing reacts to freezing temperatures is drastically different. Just one burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home, so read on to learn more.

The Pressure Builds

When the temperature sinks below zero and the moisture that is naturally present in pipes are allowed to freeze, pressure will build within the pipe. Often, homeowners are only aware that their pipes are frozen when they no longer do their job of carrying water in, out, and around the home. Once the temperature rises to above freezing, the ice build-up begins to melt. The melted ice and other water inside the pipe then flows out of the opening in the pipe and often enters the home.

Frozen Pipes Can Happen Anywhere

While you might think that frozen pipes are more of a problem in traditionally colder climates, this issue affects people everywhere. People in colder climates are more likely to be familiar with how much damage a frozen pipe can bring and take steps to prevent it. Low temperatures can happen almost anywhere, even in Florida or Southern California. No matter where you live, frozen pipes can cause water damage to your walls, ceilings, and floors.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Whether it's a hard freeze in the forecast or seasonal preparations, take the following steps:

1. If you have a basement, make sure the windows and doors are sealed and weatherproof.

2. Don't forget to weatherproof any crawlspaces under your home.

3. Use pipe insulation to insulate your outdoor exposed pipes (such as faucets).

4. Drain any irrigation systems completely of water.

5. Disconnect all hoses from the faucets. (Drain the hose to prevent damage to it).

6. Address your attic by sealing any windows or openings.

7. Close your garage doors and consider adding a fan to keep air circulating within that space.

8. Let a faucet drip with a very small trickle of water to keep things moving within the pipes.

9. Open your cabinet doors under sinks in the kitchen and bathroom to allow warm air from your home to enter those areas.

10. For areas in your home that tend to be colder, consider adding storm windows.

11. If you currently reduce the temperature in your home at night, consider keeping it steady and warm during the night when the temps dip drastically.

When the worst happens and your pipes react badly to the weather, call on your friendly plumber for help. Visit a site like http://www.rkknightplumbing.com for more help.