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Watch for Warnings of Frozen Pipes

Signs a Home Has Frozen Pipes

The cold weather can put extra strain on a home’s pipes, leading to frozen or burst pipes that cause flooding and expensive damage. Luckily, there are warning signs to look out for before disaster strikes – learning how to recognize these early signs of frozen pipes can help homeowners take action now and prevent costly repairs from burst pipes. Read on to learn more about the signs of frozen pipes.  

Water Pressure Fluctuations

faucetIt is important to understand how freezing temperatures affect water pipes, as it can significantly impact water pressure. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands and takes up more room. Ice in the lines creates a much smaller space for water to go through; therefore, water pressure from faucets is extremely low, or flow may even be nonexistent. This increased volume of ice imposes an extra strain on the structure of the pipe, leading to a decrease in water pressure. 

The longer the frozen water stays inside the pipe, the more pressure is put on it, and the more likely the line will burst. In turn, this can lead to water damage and costly repairs. It is important to keep pipes adequately insulated and take measures to prevent water from freezing to avoid these issues.  Additionally, having an emergency plan in place can help minimize potential damage if a pipe does freeze and burst.  Having a professional inspect plumbing systems regularly is also a good way to ensure they remain in good working condition and are less susceptible to bursts.

Frost on Pipes

If pipes are exposed in a colder area of the home, like a garage, crawl space, or basement area, they are likely to be the first to freeze. Hose bibs that are left uncovered can also facilitate the freezing process. If a homeowner can see frost on the pipes, that confirms freezing has occurred. For exposed pipes, the best prevention is pipe insulation. There are two main kinds of pipe insulation: fiberglass and foam. They are both easy to install and, if installed correctly, can help prevent frozen or burst pipes.

  • Fiberglass insulation: This type of insulation looks like a thin strip of what is found in most walls and ceilings. It comes in a roll-like tape and can be easily wrapped around even the curviest pipes. 
  • Foam Insulation: This insulation comes in the form of long foam tubes that are split along one side.  They envelop the pipe and are secured with special tape. These work well for long stretches of straight pipes, although they can also be fit to corners.

Sewage Smell

smellOne of the most unpleasant signs of frozen pipes shows up when sewer pipes freeze. If it is cold enough, the lines containing sewage can also freeze up, which can cause the accumulation of sewage in the pipes. This produces a backup at best and a burst sewer pipe at worst. 

Either one will emanate a nasty sewage smell which can often be smelled inside the home. If homeowners notice this sign, a professional should investigate it immediately to mitigate possible damage to the plumbing system or the house itself.

About Lodder Brothers Limited

Lodder Brothers Limited has over four decades of expertise serving Kitchener, ON, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, comprehensive solutions, and high-quality products and materials. Call them today for water or sewer line repairs in Kitchener, ON

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