The cold weather is here, and so is the possibility for plumbing nightmares. Let’s ask a plumber in Grand Rapids, MN about the kinds of property damage and problems that are associated with frozen pipes, and how to prevent pipe freeze this winter.
First, here are some of the most common problems you’re likely to encounter with your plumbing during the winter months:
- Pipe burst: The first sign that an indoor pipe is going to have issues is the presence of frost. Faucets and water pipes will feel cold to the touch, as well as be covered in white frost or even a layer of thin ice. This likely means the water inside the pipes is frozen. Unfortunately, whether the frosty pipes are inside the walls or outside in the elements, already compromised pipes have greater potential of freezing. And if not thawed as soon as possible, frozen pipes are quick to weaken, crack or even burst.
- No running water: Along the same lines, frozen pipes can leave you without water until the problem is identified. For this reason, another sign of damaged or frozen pipes is a lack of running water. So if there’s just a trickle of water or no water at all coming out of indoor faucets, this likely means the pipe the faucet is connected to has frozen.
- Water damage: If a pipe begins to thaw on its own, but ends up bursting inside your home’s walls or under a sink, then you are going to experience water damage to your property. Water behind walls will begin to come through in the form of water spots that can soften walls and ceilings to the point of needing both piping and drywall repairs.
- Mold: With water damage comes mold and mildew—especially when water is not properly cleaned up or is discovered too late. And mold from water leaks sometimes is not found until the weather begins to warm up, which can contribute to further mold growth. If you suspect that a frozen pipe has burst inside a wall, contact a professional plumber in Grand Rapids, MN to check it out.
Preventing pipes from freezing is the key to avoiding these kinds of problems. Here are some different approaches you can take to ensure your pipes don’t freeze this winter:
- Keep your home and basement warm: Although you will have the heater on this winter, you want to make sure the indoor air stays above 50 degrees, even when you are not home for an extended period. You can better avoid pipe freeze and pipe bursts when the inside environment is kept warm.
- Cycle warm air near piping: The piping under sinks and in cabinets also requires warmth to avoid freezing issues. When outside temperatures hit freezing, you should open up under-sink cabinets where water pipes are installed to let warm indoor air cycle through.
- Cover exposed water pipes: Whether you use heating tape or extra insulation materials to cover exposed pipes, the key to ensuring that pipes won’t freeze is to actually apply it right on the pipe. You can wrap accessible pipes with heating tape, and wrapping with a rubber of fiberglass sleeve can decrease the chances of basement and attic pipe freeze.
This winter, if you need plumbing repairs or emergency plumbing services, contact the team at Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc. We are proud to be your go-to plumber in Grand Rapids, MN!