Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. With the bitter weather brought from the east over the recent days, the conditions are already making their mark on pipes up and down the country. So what can be done to stop them from freezing?
Cold climates aren’t necessarily the source of the problem
It’s firstly a great idea to get clued up on what happens when pipes freeze. Many tenants mistakenly believe it’s only the cold climates that bring about freezing pipes, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Infact pipes that are situated in properties based in warmer climates may not be properly insulated to cope, particularly in the conditions that the country currently faces.
Frozen pipes can burst
Frozen pipes are an issue due to the blockage of the water flow that they cause. Even worse, as the water continues to mount due to the blockage, they can cause the pipes to burst which can cause damage and potential flooding. The good news however is that you can minimise the chances of this happening:
– Keep warm and keep the heating on
It may seem like a waste of heating if you’re away from the property. However not only will you be welcomed home into a delightful temperature in comparison to the outside world, but this is the first port of call to prevent pipes from freezing. The heating can be set to a lower temperature than usual, but providing heat is being circulated throughout the property, the chances of the water flowing through the pipes freezing up will become minimised.
– Allow the faucets to drip
That irritating sound of water slowly dripping from your tap? Well it’s another method of minimising the chances of your pipes freezing.
By keeping the faucet open slightly and allowing water to drip, pressure will be relived from within the system. It’s this pressure during a build up from a frozen pipe that can cause the bursts, damage to the property and potential flooding. By keeping a faucet open, the pressure will be less and as will the chances of a pipe burst.
– Open the doors
The majority of pipes are sealed away in cupboards or store rooms, most likely with doors preventing any circulated heat from within the rest of house getting to them. When the temperatures drop, keep these doors open to allow as much heat as possible to get inside. Having the other interior doors open throughout your property will also ensure the best circulation for heat.
– Seal the holes and cracks
Any holes or cracks that exist near pipes need to be caulked. By doing this on both interior and exterior walls, cold air will be kept out and the warm air kept in.
– Add extra insulation
Pipes may require extra insulation if they’re in locations such as basements or attics. Basements and attics aren’t always properly insulated from the cold, which makes for a greater risk of the pipes freezing. These are not exclusive areas to potential poor insulation however, and all pipes within your property should be checked to see if any additional insulation is needed.
Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.