5 Tips to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

 For many of us in the South, we're not used to the frigid temps year-round. Nevertheless, it's still incredibly likely that there are a few times out of the year that we experience below freezing temperatures, however short lived they might be. Whether you love the cold or hate it, one thing is for certain: significant drops in temperature put certain parts of your home at risk of damage.

One of the most integral parts to your home's water system are the pipes that run underneath, in, and around your house or apartment. Of course, this might be the last thing on your mind when you start to see the snow flurries falling, but it's incredibly important to know how to protect your pipes when encountering extra-cold weather.

Why Does it Happen?

Why exactly do pipes freeze when exposed to frosty weather? Even when pipes are not in use, there are still small amounts of water left over after travelling through the pipe system. When the water inside the pipes reaches freezing temperatures, it can freeze to ice.

What Happens When a Pipe Freezes?  

There are a few outcomes of a frozen pipe. Either your water will not work or will not work as efficiently because of the ice built up inside the pipes. Or, sometimes, the ice expands and creates added pressure inside the pipe. The pipe can burst at the section where the ice was formed, or the pressure can travel to find a weak spot. Any outcome is not ideal, and there are certainly a few things you can do that will help prevent your pipes from freezing. 

1. Pre-insulate Your pipes
Luckily, there are a few products created specifically for insulating your pipes. Whether you opt for heat tape, heat cables, or foam insulation, be sure to have a professional help with the installation process for optimal functionality. This option is especially useful for vacation homes or houses that are often left without the heat running.

2. Drain Water From Pipes
Water lines connected to pools and sprinkler systems are far more likely to have excess water, leaving them more susceptible to freezing. Make sure to drain these as best you can to diminish the chance of them freezing.

3. Open Cabinet Doors
Cabinet doors in kitchens and bathrooms that house pipe systems should be kept open during extra cold days and nights. Doing this lets warm air circulate the pipes and can help prevent them from freezing.

4. Drip Water on Cold Days
Keeping your faucets on a steady drip will help keep the water moving. Water that is moving has much less of a chance of freezing than still water.

5. Keep Your Heat On
Keeping your heater on all day and night might incur a higher heating bill for that month but doing so could prevent a much costlier fix!

Sometimes, even with all the above preventative measures in place, things still happen. Luckily, Coleman Plumbing, your local Woodstock, Georgia plumbing expert, has over 50 years of experience to help you fix all your pipe problems! Check out our Pipe Services page to learn more about what we can do for you if things go wrong, or if you want to ensure that your water system is clean and ready for whatever the weather has to throw at it!

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