Beware of Frozen Pipes
Are you starting to feel pretty icy, after all this winter weather? Well just imagine how your home plumbing must feel. The winter can take its toll on your pipes, and if you’re not careful you may even end up with some of them frozen.
The Problems with Frozen Pipes
This is no small worry. Frozen pipes can create some major inconveniences for you. On top of that, they can lead to damage that may prove costly to repair.
The most obvious problem with frozen pipes is that it impedes the regular flow of water into your home. If your pipes freeze, they essentially become blocked, which means you may not be able to carry out your usual daily tasks—showering, running the dishwasher, even using the toilet. More significantly, though, frozen pipes can burst. The pressure of all that water will cause the pipes to expand and ultimately rupture. If this happens, you will not only need to re-pipe part of your home, but you could be looking at some huge water damage.
So which pipes should you be concerned with? If you happen to live in a relatively warm, southern climate, where pipes don’t see a lot of cold weather, then really all of your pipes could be vulnerable to extreme cold—but for those here in Vancouver, that’s probably not an issue.
Pipes along exterior walls are vulnerable, if your home lacks proper insulation. Attic and basement pipes are vulnerable because these parts of the home tend to be less heated and less insulated. And external pipes—including the ones you attach your garden hose to, or any pipes under the crawlspace—are especially prone to freezing.
How to Know if Your Pipes are Frozen
Of course, if it’s above 32 degrees outside, you can rest comfortable, knowing that your pipes haven’t frozen! If it’s cold outside, though, then you should stay alert to the warning signs. If you can’t get water out of a faucet, frozen pipes could be the culprits. Additionally, visible signs of frost on your pipes will give it away.
We recommend doing whatever you can to insulate external pipes; you can purchase special insulating blankets and covers just for pipes. We also recommend that you know where your water shutoff valve is, and be prepared to use it at the first sign of trouble. For further help, don’t hesitate to call our Vancouver plumbing professionals!