Preparing the Home to Prevent Frozen Pipes During the Winter

Professional Tips for Protecting Pipes 

Winter is almost here, and most people approach the season with excitement. However, after a few months of being locked indoors and dealing with winter weather, people may not be so enthusiastic. Winter can bring all sorts of hazards that leave homeowners scrambling to prepare. 

Winter can be hard on people and property. One serious hazard it presents is to a home's plumbing and pipes. Subzero temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst, leaving homes without water service and dealing with the fallout of flooding. Here is a quick guide from local experts to help homeowners better prepare their homes for winter weather and prevent frozen pipes

Why Are Frozen Pipes So Bad? 

burst pipePipes exposed to freezing temperatures can freeze. This prevents water from flowing through the pipes, causing a loss of water to whatever fixtures the frozen pipe feeds. However, the main danger of frozen pipes is the damage they can cause. As water freezes in pipes, it expands, putting tremendous pressure on the walls of the pipes. Plastic and metal pipes can succumb to the pressure and burst or crack and leak. 

When pipes burst, they can cause flooding in the home. Sometimes, the flooding happens immediately, and sometimes, it occurs after the lines defrost. Burst pipes and leaks can cause various problems, such as water damage, foundation issues, and mold growth. Repairing the damage caused by burst pipes can be very expensive, so it’s best to prevent them.  

Can Pipe Insulation Help? 

pipe insulationInstead of risking substantial water and repair bills, take steps to prevent frozen pipes. The best thing a homeowner can do to avoid frozen, and burst pipes is to ensure that vulnerable piping is insulated. Homeowners can install insulation on pipes, but a local plumber can help by inspecting the plumbing to find lines that are more likely to freeze. Then, the pipes can be protected using pipe insulation. 

Pipe insulation is a cheap solution that can help protect pipes from freezing. Of course, that is not their only benefit. Pipe insulation also helps extend the life of piping by protecting it from condensation, and insulating the hot water pipes can reduce energy bills by reducing heat loss. Insulating pipes is a cheap and easy DIY project to ensure pipes don’t freeze during the winter. Be sure to insulate pipes in attics, crawl spaces, and outdoor areas. 

More Tips to Avoid Frozen Pipes 

Besides pipe insulation, there are other steps that homeowners can take to prevent the disaster that could come with frozen pipes and burst pipes. Some other ideas to help homeowners protect their plumbing during the winter are: 

  • Always leave the thermostat set at a consistent temperature, even when away from home, to keep the house warm and prevent pipes from freezing
  • Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate to the plumbing and pipes 
  • Leave faucets dripping during freezing temperatures to avoid freezing

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has been serving Somerset and the surrounding areas for more than 15 years. They offer straightforward pricing, same-day services, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services and burst pipe repair in Somerset, MA. 

Burst Pipes: Causes and Prevention

Prevent Burst Pipes, So They Don’t Disrupt Holiday Gatherings

No one wants to deal with a pipe bursting. This kind of plumbing emergency can ruin any holiday event or even a quiet evening at home. While frozen pipes are a common cause of burst pipes, age, corrosion, and stubborn clogs can also cause a pipe to break. This blog will discuss the causes of pipe bursts and some tips to help prevent them.

Avoid Pipes Freezing With Pipe Insulation

freezingEveryone knows that water freezes at 32℉/0℃, and unlike most liquids, water actually expands due to its crystalline structure when it freezes. This presents a danger when pipes freeze. When the weather gets cold, the water in exposed pipes can freeze and then expand, putting a strain on the line and possibly causing it to burst. Pipes exposed in unfinished basements and crawl spaces are the most vulnerable to the dropping temperatures outdoors. The best way to prevent pipes from freezing is by installing pipe insulation.  There are two main types of pipe insulation: foam and fiberglass. 

  • Foam Pipe Insulation: This is a foam tube (think pool noodle) with a split down one side. It comes in various diameters according to the size of the pipe it insulates. The foam slides over and secures the line like a bun surrounding a hot dog. A special tape is then used to seal the open side. It is easy to use and can be installed relatively quickly.
  • Fiberglass Pipe Insulation: This insulation is very similar to the insulation put on the walls of most homes. It comes in the form of a tape roll and has a metallic backing instead of the paper typically used in attics and walls. It is also suitable for directly under sinks where the pipes tend to have a lot of bends.

Avoid Corrosion and Slow Decay

corrosionWhen a pipe ages, it is often subject to corrosion, another cause of burst pipes. Corrosion is the breaking down of a material, typically metals, through chemical reactions or environmental interactions. Pipes may corrode for several reasons, including the following events:

  • Metal-to-metal contact
  • Loose fittings
  • Chemical drain cleaners
  • Inappropriately disposed chemical waste

A particular culprit of corrosion that homeowners can easily avoid is the liquid drain cleaner. They may be able to clear a clog, but they should be avoided because they usually end up doing more harm than good. The chemicals in them can corrode and worsen the conditions of a home’s pipes, leading them to burst.

Avoid Clogs

Clogs are a problem that almost every homeowner has dealt with in the past. They are one of the most common, and usually one of the easiest for plumbers to handle, plumbing issues. However, they can lead to much worse plumbing emergencies like a burst pipe if left untreated. 

Thankfully, professionals offer drain cleaning services that can clear an existing clog, keep a clog from growing too large and causing significant damage, or prevent clogs from forming in the first place. So to avoid clogs that can lead to pipe bursts, homeowners should have their pipes regularly maintained with drain cleaning.

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has dependable plumbers serving Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas for over 15 years. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day services, and the latest technology. Call them today for drain cleaning or burst pipe repair in Somerset, MA