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Your Pipes Don't Love Winter Wonderlands as Much as You Do

Can Your Pipes Handle the Cold Temperatures That are Coming?

When the frigid temperatures of the holiday season arrive, most of us want to bundle up and avoid the cold. Unfortunately, the pipes inside a home cannot do the same. Pipes that have been improperly installed can become vulnerable to freezing when the winter temperatures dip. 

Pipes can be inconvenient when they're frozen, but the real danger is when they thaw. As water freezes, it expands. When water freezes inside of the pipes in a home, it can cause the pipes to rupture depending on the material they are made from. The frozen water will prevent water from flowing, and you could lose access to water. Once the pipe thaws out, water will flow out of the ruptured pipe at very high volumes. 

Paying attention to the signs of frozen pipes and preventing them is the best way to keep from dealing with the damage they cause. Luckily, some guidelines can be followed to prevent trouble from burst pipes. 

Risks from Frozen Pipes 

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The biggest risk that comes from a frozen pipe comes after it thaws. The expanding ice that forms inside the pipe causes it to rupture. After that, there will be nothing to contain the water flow once the ice thaws. The pressure and volume of water escaping from the broken pipe can quickly cause a flood. 

As with any kind of flooding, water from a burst pipe can do immense amounts of damage in a matter of minutes. If the pipe breaks inside a home, floors, walls, and even furniture can be quickly ruined. It is imperative that repairs in this kind of situation are handled quickly to minimize the damage. If flooding is not handled properly, there might be other consequences as a result, such as mold growth.

Pipes that freeze and burst outside usually go undetected for longer. The high volume of water lost in these instances can result in a huge increase in the monthly water bill. Along with the financial implications, a flood in the yard can lead to a damaged foundation and ruin the lawn and landscaping. 

Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes

There are three important steps for preventing frozen pipes. The first is proper installation. While this is out of the control of most homeowners, it is essential to work with plumbers with a high level of craftsmanship. With the harsh Minneapolis winters, experienced  plumbers should know how to install piping in a way that protects it from freezing. 

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The second way to prevent frozen pipe bursts is to protect the pipes with insulation. This can take the form of wrapping pipes in special insulation or covering hose bibbs with protective covers. 

The third preventative solution for frozen pipes is heat tape. Heat tape is a special electrical solution that warms pipes that are vulnerable to freezing. 

Pipe Insulation Solutions

Insulating pipes for the winter is just as important as insulating the home itself. Think of it this way- insulating keeps cold out and warm in so that the contents of the home (or, in this case, pipes) don’t freeze because of the dropping temperature outside! 

There are many different materials that can be used to insulate pipes, and they come in different forms. For example, materials like foam or fiberglass come in sheets that are fairly easy to install. Another way to insulate pipes is with specialized pipe wrapping, which can be secured to the pipe with heat tape.

Heat tape adds a bit of extra protection, making pipes resistant to damage from the cold. Of course, for homeowners looking for additional guidance, be sure to contact a local plumbing company as they can help prevent most damage caused in the winter. 

About HomePro Plumbing

HomePro Plumbing offers decades of experience in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. Their concern for their customers is what sets them apart from other plumbing services. With expert workmanship and upfront pricing, homeowners can anticipate a job’s cost and have peace of mind that the work is performed to the highest level. Call HomePro Plumbing today for burst pipe repair in the twin cities.