How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter
That bulging pipe in your basement is about to become an indoor sprinkler system.
If frozen pipes become a reality and burst inside your home, you could be filing a homeowners insurance claim upwards of $5,000 for the water damage on your floors and walls — not to mention the boxes of important keepsakes and decorations you keep stashed in your now-flooded basement!
With a Minnesota winter comes freezing and subzero temperatures, so it’s critical to stay ahead of frozen pipes that could cause extensive damage to your home. Here’s what you need to know:
How your pipes freeze:
When water freezes, it expands. So when that water becomes frozen in your pipes, it will exert tremendous pressure and could eventually burst your pipes. When you notice a bulging pipe or one that’s covered in frost, or a toilet that won’t fill after being flushed, be sure to take immediate action. Both are signs of frozen pipes and could result in a huge mess.
What to do next:
If you have frozen pipes inside your home, be sure to leave the faucets open. The running water will aid in the thawing process and keep water moving. There’s no need to panic — you’re capable of taking measures into your own hands and begin the thawing process. When you locate a frozen pipe, try mild thawing methods such as wrapping the pipe in a hot towel or cautiously using a hair dryer or space heater. If the problem is more extensive and widespread than you think, it’s best to locate and shut off your water shut-off valve until the problem can be addressed.
How to prevent frozen pipes:
If you’re not so keen on the idea of dealing with frozen pipes in your home, it’s time to take preventative action for your Minnesota home. Be sure to drip your faucets from time to time — especially when it’s very cold outside — to prevent water from freezing by keeping it flowing. Take some time to drain the water from your swimming pools and sprinkler systems, and store hoses after removing and draining them.
One of the last lines of defense is insulation. In the garage, in the attic, and in the basement, invest in quality insulation so you don’t walk into a home that’s suitable for swimming. Insulation isn’t a surefire way to prevent frozen pipes, so it’s also important to keep garage doors closed if they’re home to plumbing. In addition, try opening kitchen and bathroom doors from time to time to allow warmer air to circulate.
When bitter winters get the best of your home and you experience frozen or burst pipes, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is here to help. Our punctual plumbers are available 24/7 to help you with emergency plumbing, pipe replacement, and more. Contact us today and we’ll be at your door to help you with your plumbing needs.
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