Anything that causes pressure to build up in your pipes can cause it to burst. In the wintertime, for instance, frozen water clogs your pipes. This causes pressure to build up behind the clog evoking expansion, which leads to burst pipes. The result is thousands of dollars in water damage repair costs.
Here, we look at the most common signs of frozen pipes in the winter. We also present simple ways to intervene in case of burst pipes and ways to protect your home from water damage, including proper maintenance and products that can prevent thousands of dollars in water damage.
Signs Your Pipes are Damaged
Not sure if there’s a problem with your pipes? Keep an eye out for these signs of frozen or damaged pipes on your property.
Low water pressure
Anything from a small trickle of water to a sudden drop in water pressure from a normally fully functional sink can be signs of a frozen pipe.
This is a less obvious sign of a frozen pipe. When your pipe clogs from frozen water, the backup can emit strange smells. The only place for the odor to escape is back through the pipe and out into your bathroom or kitchen.
Frost on your pipes
You may notice frost accumulating on the exterior of visible pipes like the one under your sink. This is a clear indication that the conduit is frozen.
This is the most serious sign that your home has suffered from frozen pipes. A burst pipe can release huge amounts of water into your home, leading to mold growth, rot, peeling paint, flooding, and in severe cases, structural damage.
How to fix a frozen or burst pipe
If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, get in touch with a local plumber in Virginia Beach, VA, as soon as possible. In the meantime, shut off the water immediately if you detect a leak. This will help reduce the extent of water damage.
Try to remove as much water as possible out of your house using mops, towels, sponges, and a wet/dry vacuum. This will minimize the risk of water damage to your property including mold, mildew, and rot growth.
Ways to prevent pipe leaks in the winter
As the winter months set in, bracing your plumbing systems for the cold weather is pivotal to preventing unexpected plumbing emergencies. Taking a few extra precautions will go a long way toward preventing problems. Here are some ways to prevent frozen and burst pipes in the winter.
- Let your faucets drip: If your water pipes pass through unprotected or unheated spaces, consider a slow drip from the faucet to prevent the risk of pressure buildup in your pipes. This way, even if the water in the pipes freezes, the pressure release from a slow drip will reduce the likelihood of a ruptured pipe.
- Keep the heat on: Maintain a minimum interior temperature of 55°F. Also, keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night.
- Keep interior doors open: When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to open cabinets and vanity doors. This will allow warm air from the rest of the house to reach your pipes easily and keep them warm.
- Protect your home when you’re not there: If you are leaving your home for a while, consider shutting off your home’s water supply.
- Seal up cracks and holes: Seal up gaps around holes where pipes run through walls and floors to keep cold air out. Use caulk or foam insulation to seal both the interior and exterior side of the wall or floor.
- Add insulation to the pipes in your basements, crawl spaces, and attics: Insulation helps maintain higher temperatures in these areas preventing frozen pipes.
- Invest in a leak detection system: This system offers the best protection against water damage in the event of a burst pipe.
When in need of plumbing services, contact the professionals at A1 Sewer & Drain for a leak repair inspection and quote. We provide prompt and efficient plumbing services in Virginia Beach, VA.