The winter months can be hard to endure for many people. Low light, seasonal depression, and colder temperatures are just some of the challenges that come with this time period for homeowners in cold-weather climates where harsh winters often occur every year. Frozen pipes also become an issue during these chilly seasons because water expands as it freezes making any leaking more serious than usual. This is especially true if you live somewhere prone to extremely low temperatures!
Frozen pipes are a big hassle, especially when they’re in Colorado. The United Water Restoration Group of Colorado Springs wants to share their knowledge on how you can avoid this problem and what steps should be taken if it happens anyway! We would like to provide you with as much information regarding frozen pipes as we can!
Temperature is the main factor that causes frozen pipes. However, this doesn’t just mean colder temperatures will cause your pipes to freeze. Very cold weather accompanied by wind can be dangerous as well! The more extreme the temperature and/or wind chill, the greater chance you have of experiencing frozen or burst pipes.
Pipes that are exposed directly to the outdoors also have a higher risk of freezing because they lose heat much faster than those kept indoors. Regularly used utilities such as washing machines and showers should be placed in rooms with proper insulation to avoid this from happening during the winter months. In order for a full freeze to happen, the pipes need to experience harsh temperatures or windchill.
Pipes don’t freeze from being exposed to cold air for a few minutes. This happens when the temperature drops gradually over several hours, allowing heat to escape from your home at a slower rate. In order for pipes to freeze completely, it takes an extended period of time with temperatures under 32°F and windchill below 0°F.
This extended period of time can also depend on several factors. Generally speaking, your pipes need to be below 32 degrees for a consecutive 6-8 hours.
If you hear the sound of running water throughout your house but no water comes out when you turn on a faucet, then this is a great indication that your pipes have frozen. This will not only stop all flow of water in your home, but it can also lead to a broken pipe which could cause extensive damage if a flood occurs.
A faucet with a significantly reduced flow is also a fairly obvious sign that your pipes are frozen. Unfortunately, you may not be able to see the conditions of your pipes if they are hidden behind walls. If you spot discoloration on walls or your ceiling, notice strange smells, or hear running or dripping water from behind your walls, these are also signs of a burst pipe.
When pipes are frozen, it’s not always an indication that they will burst. Sometimes losing water pressure is just a matter of waiting for the problem to fix itself and there isn’t anything else you can do in those situations except wait until things thaw out!
The pipes in your home are not only made of metal, but they also contain water. When it warms up again and starts flowing through them more freely you’ll be able to see this for yourself! Just try opening some faucets periodically so that any frozen areas can thaw out quickly. Don’t let a few drips from burst pipes add up until there is pressure building behind them because if left unchecked these small leaks could cause major flooding damage around every corner.
Yes, it is possible for pipes to freeze without help. However, if you do nothing in order to thaw them quicker than they would otherwise melt and become unblocked by ice themselves–many hours or even days can pass before this happens!
When the pipes have thawed out, turn your faucets back on to flush any remaining ice particles left inside. Otherwise, it could refreeze again once outside temperatures go below freezing and clog up all of those free-flowing openings throughout our house with its gritty bits!
At this point, we highly encourage you to reach out to professionals for assistance. While you should seek professional help, there are still safe ways to help warm or thaw a frozen pipe. Though some may jump straight to fire, you should avoid that as fire can cause the pipe to destabilize and may cause damage. Holding up a lighter or a torch to your frozen pipes can actually cause a burst pipe.
If you need help thawing your pipes, we recommend the following items to help:
Towels – Soaking a few towels in hot water and wrapping them around a frozen pipe can help safely thaw out the ice.
Hairdryer – A standard hairdryer can help safely thaw out a frozen pipe. Be sure that the hairdryer is a safe distance away from the pipes.
Electric Heating Pads – An electric heating pad can effectively heat up a frozen pipe if you wrap the pad around the frozen pipe.
Portable Heaters – A portable heater can effectively heat up an area rather quickly. They can assist in safely warming up pipes as long as placing these items 5-10 feet depending on their strength. Make sure it is safely positioned away from all flammable materials as well.
Heating cables can also help thaw frozen pipes, but installation may require professional assistance. While these items can help thaw ice, issues may arise as the ice thaws We highly recommend contacting professionals for assistance before trying to thaw your pipes alone!
There are a few ways you can prevent the pipes at your property from freezing. While these situations may be unavoidable at times, there are still a few methods that can assist in reducing the chances of your pipes freezing. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent your pipe from freezing:
We mentioned it above, but heat tape is a great way to help prevent freezing pipes. Heat tape was specifically designed to help prevent situations such as freezing pipes. It can help combat against the harsh temperatures at your property. Applying heat tape may be easy enough, but it could require assistance. It may require further assistance if your pipes are hidden behind walls or fixtures.
If your cabinets are closed, your home may not have proper circulation of warmer air. This can cause the pipes under sinks to be at risk as the warmer air doesn’t flow to them. Most kitchen sinks are attached to an outer wall. This can cause them to reach lower temperatures a lot quicker.
If you are anticipating a cold night, you should disconnect all hoses outside to help drain water from their spouts and pipes. A hose bib can prevent water from being released. Under these circumstances, the water can build up and cause damage to the pipes and spout.
One of the best ways to prevent frozen pipes is to ensure your property is good and warm. If the temperatures fall below 32 inside your property, you’re in for a definite problem. You should keep areas with pipes protected with space heaters and ensure your insulation is up to date at the property.
Pipes can’t freeze if there is a constant flow of water running. This doesn’t require every faucet to be pouring out water, it can be a select few that are lightly streaming warm water out. Doing this will help the flow continue through pipes and prevent freezing.
If you already have frozen pipes, you should turn off the water as soon as possible to avoid further damage. If the trickle of water is all that’s left, turning it off can help prevent a pipe breakage and leaks.
Your next step should be to contact professionals, like our experts at United Water Restoration Group of Colorado Springs. If you are dealing with frozen pipes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, or a burst pipe, we can assist you!
Our service line at (719) 722-3178 is available 24/7 and can place you in direct contact with one of our trained technicians. In times of emergency, we can be at your property in under an hour!