Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. When a house’s water pipes freeze, the situation is not as simple as calling a plumber. They are problem by themselves because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding.
If you have enough time to check the conditions of the building’s plumbing, identify the pipes most vulnerable to freezing.
Here are some tips to prevent pipes from freezing:
- Keep the Heat On: keeping the temperature set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a good idea, even if you are not home. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
- Keep Interior Doors Open: opening all interior doors — including cabinets — allows heat to flow throughout the home and ensures pipes are exposed to it.
- Seal Up Cracks and Holes: doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
- Allow Faucet to Drip: allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure that is created from ice blocking the flow of water – the pressure is the cause of pipes bursting
- Add Extra Insulation: insulation will maintain higher temperatures and provide your first line of defense against cold temperatures and frozen pipes.