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Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze This Winter!

Can Your Pipes Handle The Cold?

It never fails! Wintertime comes around, and homeowners find themselves faced with a costly dilemma - clogged drains. Clogged drains are a beast of an issue, especially when temperatures in the basement reach freezing. The water sitting in the pipes may expand, causing the pipe to burst if it’s already weak or cracked. The outside temperature only has to reach 0 degrees Celcius before pipes begin to freeze. It has to remain that temperature for six consecutive hours before pipes will freeze and then burst if they aren’t properly insulated. Also, this depends on how deep the pipes are and the insulation of the home.

What Happens When Pipes Freeze?

Pipes that are frozen can lead to a messy situation if it isn’t taken care of right away. When those outdoor temperatures are below freezing, ice can form within the pipes, leading to a pressure build-up. Once that pressure reaches the point of no return, the pipe may be subject to breaking open and bursting. So what happens after that?

Ice covering thin copper pipes

  • Water Damage: Water damage is a messy situation for many reasons. When one of the plumbing pipes burst, the plumbing system will begin to leak unfathomable amounts of water through your home, wherever the pipes are located. Homeowners may lose valuables, furniture, and the integrity of their home may be compromised, costing them time and money.
  • Complete Water Shutoff: If a homeowner comes across a burst pipe, they may need to shut the water supply off to their home. This means they can’t shower, go to the bathroom, do their dishes or their laundry. In order for the damage to be repaired, the professionals will need the water to be turned off until they can solve the problem. After that, the water damage will need to be repaired quickly.

Usually, homeowners call the fire department for what’s called a “pump out,” but don’t waste valuable resources. Instead, get in touch with the professionals who can stop the leak and save the home quickly.

Take Steps To Prevent The Freeze

Frozen pipes can be prevented quite easily and quickly if homeowners turn to professionals. Before the freezing temperatures set in, consider taking some of these precautions to prevent frozen and burst pipes:

  • Drain the water from any external supply lines for swimming pools or water sprinklers. Absolutely do not put antifreeze in these lines as it is environmentally harmful.
  • Close inside water valves and open the external hose bibs to allow water to drain. Any water that is left in the pipe can safely expand without harming the pipe.
  • Insulate crawl spaces, attic, and basement. The insulation will keep the heat inside the home and the cold outside. Homeowners can also insulate the water pipes themselves. They can use pipe sleeves or UL-listed “heat tape” or another similar material to water pipes that may be exposed to the elements.
  • If the water supply can handle it, let the cold water drip from the faucet at a slow pace. This keeps the water flowing through the pipes and will ultimately prevent quick freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night.

What Kind of Pipe Insulation Is There?

person wrapping insulation around copper pipe

To keep pipes from freezing, bursting, and creating a mess that homeowners may not be able to afford to clean up, consider having the pipes insulated by professionals. There are actually a few different types of pipe insulation for homeowners to choose from, depending on the budget.

  • Fibreglass: Fibreglass insulation for pipes are used on concealed, exposed, cold, and hot piping. They are designed to withstand temperatures from 0 degrees to 850 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Calcium Silicate: Looking for something rugged and durable? Calcium Silicate insulation is an abuse-resistant pipe and blocks insulation that has unbelievable and unmatched strength to it.
  • Mineral Wool: Mineral wool insulation is fire resistant, water repellant, and vapour permeable. It offers fantastic thermal performance helping it withstand rising temperatures as well.

About Sewer Squad

Sewer Squad Plumbing & Drain Services has been in business for over 20-years. They are specially trained to handle even the toughest plumbing issues. They offer 24/7 emergency services and absolutely do not charge fees for services that are needed after hours.  Trust Sewer Squad Plumbing & Drain Services for frozen pipe repair in Oshawa, ON.