How to Keep Pipes From Freezing

How to Keep Pipes From Freezing in Colorado | One Source Home Service

As temperatures drop in Colorado Springs, the risk of pipes freezing becomes a more significant concern for homeowners. This threat is not only about the inconvenience of blocked water flow but also the potential for costly damages. In this blog, we will explore practical strategies to prevent pipes from freezing, even when the power is out. 

Why Bother With Preventing the Risks?

Before we dive into the tips for preventing the pipes in your home from freezing, we will briefly discuss why bothering with these prevention methods is essential. Pipes are most vulnerable when temperatures plummet below freezing. Here is what happens when plumbing pipes freeze in a home: 

  • Frozen water in the pipes can lead them to burst, resulting in costly plumbing repairs
  • Burst pipes can cause significant water damage in the home, including structural damage, ruined belongings, and mold growth
  • Dealing with frozen pipes in the subsequent repairs can be highly inconvenient and disrupt your daily routine until everything is fixed
  • Water damage resulting from burst pipes can ruin personal belongings, furniture, and other items, which will lead to extra expenses to replace those items
  • Water damage and mold growth associated with burst pipes pose health risks for everyone involved
  • Pipes that freeze and are thawed out frequently can weaken over time 

The common belief is that pipes freeze at 32°F, but in reality, the process can start at a slightly higher temperature, depending on factors like insulation and pipe exposure. 

How To Protect Pipes From Freezing

Now that you know what happens when your pipes freeze in the winter, you may be interested to know how you can prevent this problem from occurring in the first place. In the following paragraphs, we will review some of the critical steps you can take today to prevent this problem in your home.

Insulation is Key

Proper insulation is essential to ensuring that your pipes do not freeze. Pipes exposed to the elements have higher chances of freezing, especially in freezing winter climates in Colorado Springs. If you know of any exposed pipes throughout your home, go through them and ensure they are adequately insulated. Pay close attention to unheated areas like the basement, crawlspaces, and attic. Use foam or fiberglass pipe insulation to create a barrier against the cold.

Seal Gaps and Cracks

Next, it is crucial to identify and seal any gaps or cracks in the walls near the pipes. Cold drafts can contribute to the freezing process of pipes, which leads to many problems with the plumbing system. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal these openings and keep the cold air out.

Maintain a Consistent Temperature

Another tip is to keep a consistent temperature, even if you should be away from the home for a while. Though you will incur higher heating costs, those costs will pale compared to the expensive repair costs you’ll have to pay for fixing burst pipes and all the issues that come with burst pipes. 

Open Cabinet Doors

For pipes under sinks are in cabinets, open the door, still out, warm air circulation. This will help the higher temperatures get around the pipes, reducing the risk of freezing.

How To Keep Pipes From Freezing Without Power

From the tips described above, we understand that preventing pipes from freezing combines insulation and preparedness. However, when there is no power in the house, the problem may be more complicated. But never fear! We have some tips to help you preserve your pipes in good condition even if the power goes out. 

Use Alternative Heating Methods

Do your best to keep your home at a consistent temperature. If you have alternative heating methods like a fireplace, a wood stove, or a portable electric heater that a generator can power, use these to keep the warmth flowing through the home. This will help maintain a warm environment and prevent the pipes from freezing.

Invest in a Backup Power Source

Consider investing in a backup power source such as a generator. A generator can power a central heating system, preventing the temperature inside your home from dropping to levels that would lead to frozen pipes.

Drip Faucets

Allow the faucet to drip slowly. Running water, even at a trickle, is less likely to freeze. This will help prevent pressure building up in the pipes.

Use Insulating Wraps

In addition to the standard installation of pipes, consider using insulating wraps or heat tape specifically designed for cold weather conditions like those that frequently occur in Colorado Springs. These products provide an extra layer of protection against freezing.

FAQ: Frozen Pipes

Should I turn off the water if the pipes are frozen?

Yes. It is best to keep the water supply off if you suspect your pipes are frozen. When pipes freeze, the water inside them expands, leading to pressure buildup. If the ice blockage is severe, it may cause the pipes to burst when they thaw. Turning off the water supply will help prevent additional water from entering the frozen pipes, reducing the risk of further damage.

At what temperature do pipes freeze?

Pipes start freezing when the surrounding air temperature drops below 20°F or -6.7°C.

How long does it take for pipes to freeze?

The time it takes for pipes to freeze depends on factors like the temperature surrounding the pipes, the level of insulation, the type of material the pipes are made from, and whether there’s water inside them. In general, pipes can start to freeze in as little as a few hours of exposure to freezing temperatures.

Knowledgeable and Professional Plumbers for All Your Needs

Whether you’ve discovered a frozen pipe or need other plumbing services, One Source Home Service is your one-stop shop for all your plumbing needs. 

Contact One Source Home Service today to get in touch with the region’s top plumbers.

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