Frozen pipe: What to do?
Extremely cold temperatures are dangerous for the water pipes of a residence or business. When the pipes are frozen, you must act quickly, otherwise you risk seeing them burst and having to deal with water damage.
It is therefore crucial to know what to do in the event of a frozen pipe to minimize potential damage. Read on to learn more about the causes and consequences of frozen pipes, and what to do if such a situation occurs.
Frozen pipe: what are the causes?
Frozen pipes are often caused by extremely low temperatures, which can freeze water in the pipes. Pipes that are not adequately insulated can also be more vulnerable to cold temperatures, as can pipes that are too often exposed to cold drafts.
Frozen pipes: are there any risks?
Frozen water in plumbing can cause many problems, including the risk of pipes bursting. Burst pipes can cause considerable water damage to your home or business, and often require costly repairs. In addition, frozen pipes can also cause water supply problems, with all the inconvenience that this causes.
How to detect a frozen pipe?
Do you suspect one of your ducts is frozen? Several signs can help you confirm your doubts. If you notice a decrease in water flow or notice strange noises coming from the pipes, one of your pipes may be frozen. Stylish odors can also be a sign of frozen pipes.
If you suspect your plumbing is frozen, it is important to take steps to perform a pipe thaw as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
What to do when pipes are frozen?
The priority is to precisely locate where the pipes are frozen. This is where knowing your home’s insulation weaknesses comes in handy. Pipes close to exterior walls are more likely to freeze, especially if the walls face north. Look in areas that tend to cool more quickly, such as closets, kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
The frozen part of a pipe is easy to recognize: it may be frosted, icy, slightly bulging or cracked. Once the area is located, use a hair dryer or electric heater to help thaw the pipe.
Prevention tips to keep your pipes from freezing
To prevent your pipes from freezing, turn off the exterior water supply, locate your interior water inlet and make sure the temperature is 10°C or more.
Insulate the pipes most likely to freeze, especially those near exterior walls, in crawl spaces, attic and garage. Seal air leaks around windows, doors, electrical wiring and dryer vent.
What to do in periods of intense cold?
It’s a good idea to keep cabinet doors open to let warm air circulate, have someone check the house regularly while you’re away, and allow a thin stream of water to flow to maintain circulation in the pipes. It is equally important to make sure the drain is not blocked so to avoid water damage.
Contact an experienced plumber!
CITY OF MONTREAL. Tips to avoid frozen pipes.
CAA QUEBEC. Frozen water pipes, Act quickly.