Frozen pipes are truly one of the worst parts of the winter season. Not only do they leave your home without working plumbing or access to running water, in severe cases, frozen pipes can burst. And if they do burst, you could be facing in-home flooding, serious water damage, and mold/mildew growth. Repairing frozen pipes after they have already burst can be expensive, so it’s always the smart move to ‘winter-proof’ them. This will prevent them from eventually bursting and causing permanent damage to your home.
One cheap and fast fix that can help if your pipes are only partially frozen is simply running your pipes often enough so that they don’t get the chance to totally freeze up. This simply entails letting water run through your pipes, even if it’s just at a slow trickle. This can often be enough to prevent a full freeze of your pipes and thaw out interior and exterior ice accumulation.
Now, if your pipes do become fully frozen, the best way to fix them is to expose as much of the pipe as possible. This can mean opening kitchen cupboards or bathroom vanity and exposing those pipes to the warmer air circulating inside the house. In many cases, if the freeze isn’t too bad, the house’s normal warmth may be enough to return the pipes to working order.
There are also some specialized tools available that may also be used to fight frozen pipes. One such option is a wrap that goes around the pipe itself and provides adequate insulation or indirect heat to the pipe so that it doesn’t succumb to freezing. For deeper, more severe freezes, you may need to remove sections of the pipe, especially the traps, to gain access further into your plumbing. Always start these procedures at the drain area because a build-up of water or steam trapped between chunks of ice can cause pipes to burst.
Frozen pipes are one of the harsh realities of winter living. Let Feehan Plumbing & Heating handle all your frozen pipe issues this winter!