Depending on where you live, frozen pipes can be a huge problem.
A frozen pipe can have a couple of pretty disastrous effects, especially if they are not tended to.
Not only do they prevent any water from flowing to the whole property, but they can also pose a high risk for the exposed pipes bursting.
Knowing how to prevent pipes from freezing, especially frozen water pipes, can be very valuable. Also, maybe even more valuable is knowing what to do if pipes freeze.
In this guide, we will be going over just that–and if you want more information about dealing with snow in general as a landlord or property manager, we've got you covered.
To begin, we will be going over how to prevent frozen pipes.
How To Prevent Frozen Pipes On Your Property
One of the best ways to deal with frozen pipes is by preventing them from the beginning. In this section, we will be going over some tips and tricks to keep your pipes from freezing.
One of the most important things to do to prevent frozen pipes is to add insulation to specific areas. The most common areas include places like attics and crawl spaces that may have thin walls.
It is always a good idea to add insulation to these spots to make sure that the pipes are not affected by the weather.
Although there are many reasons to seal cracks in the exterior walls, lowering the chance of your pipes freezing is a great reason. By sealing the cracks in the exterior wall, you are making it harder for the cold weather to penetrate the walls.
You should pay extra attention to the places where things pass from the outside to the inside. This could include near water pipes, internet cables, or TV cables.
Another effective way of preventing frozen pipes is by insulating the pipes themselves. This is done by wrapping exposed pipes with heating tape or pipe insulation.
Another interesting way to keep pipes from freezing is by leaving cabinets open. By doing this, you are allowing hot air from inside to circulate around the pipes, keeping them warmer.
So, now that we know all about how to prevent frozen pipes, let's learn about what to do if the pipes actually freeze.
What To Do When Your Property Has Frozen Pipes
If it's very cold in your area, and you begin to notice symptoms of frozen pipes, it may be time to get to work. Below, we have provided some instructions as to what you should do to thaw frozen pipes and prevent burst pipes.
Keep a Faucet Open
The first step in fixing a frozen pipe situation is making sure to keep a faucet open. By keeping a faucet open, you are making sure that any water and steam has a way to escape the pipes.
By keeping the faucet open, you are also allowing warm water to continue flowing. This helps expedite the thawing process. Also, if you keep everything closed, there may be a dangerous buildup of steam and water that may burst open the frozen pipe.
Apply Heat To Frozen Pipes
Next, and most importantly, you want to apply heat to the frozen portion of the pipe. This can be done in many ways, using a variety of tools.
Some of the tools that can be used for this include a hair dryer or an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, or a combination of any of these. If none of these tools are at your disposal, using towels soaked in hot water may also work.
It is also important to note some of the tools that should never be used to fix this problem. These include a space heater, blowtorch, or propane heater. These present a great fire risk that can make the situation much worse.
Remember that this is only a temporary fix. Any underlying problems with the property that caused these pipes should be investigated immediately after the pipes have been thawed.
Continue Applying Heat To Frozen Pipes
You should continue applying heat until you notice that the water is flowing normally again. Once the water is flowing to the faucet that you left open, check all of the other faucets in the home. If another one of them is not producing water, you may have another frozen pipe.
If you notice that, after applying heat for a while, there is still no water, you may have a burst pipe. In this case, it is time to call a plumber.
Call A Plumber
If all else fails, or if a pipe bursts, you may have to call a professional to solve the problem. Sometimes, finding the burst pipe is easy because there is water shooting out of a hole somewhere in the property.
When this is the case, it is important that you dry out the surrounding area and remove as much water as possible. When there is severe water damage, however, you may have to call your insurance along with the plumber.
In conclusion, frozen pipes can not only cost a homeowner a lot of money, but it can end in something even more disastrous. For this reason, it is important to regularly inspect pipes in the cold seasons to make sure that there are no abnormalities.
It is also important to not do anything with the pipes unless you know what you are doing. Remember, it is always safer to have a professional do it.