With the winter wind blows cold, and ice graces the tops of ponds and lakes, it’s a pretty sight. But it’s also a scary thought when we consider what can happen to our houses. With the winter months upon us, it’s important to know how to keep your pipes from freezing. Snow, ice, and sleet can also cause home damage issues when it starts to melt or if pipes burst, causing in-home flooding
Any of these situations pose a danger to the health of your home, so you need to know what to do to stop in-home flooding and keep your pipes from freezing. In this post, we will take a look at both of these situations and see what needs to be done to prevent these conditions in the first place.
What causes pipe freezing?
First, we need to know what causes pipes to freeze. The factor that causes pipe freezing is extreme cold. When temperatures drop to the freezing mark, they start to ice over, and the added coldness of the underground pipes creates a precarious situation. The Red Cross and other agencies recommend running a small stream of water when the ground temperature is around the freezing mark to avoid possible pipe rupture.
If your pipes do burst, you will need to call a plumber immediately or the landlord if you rent your house. Busted pipes can cause severe damage to a home’s interior including the foundation and inner plumbing mechanisms.
Additionally, flooding from such situations can be severe especially under the floorboard or foundation area underneath the house, which can lead to unstable house leaning or shifting.
Tips to Stop in-home Flooding or Pipe Freezing
The following tips should help you to prevent pipe freezing and help you deal with in-house flooding should it occur this winter.
- Monitor temperatures and run a small stream of water from your faucet to avoid pipes bursting. This old trick is still the best idea to keep pipes from freezing. Remember, if you notice that you can only get a small stream from your water faucets though, it may be an indication that a pipe is trying to freeze up.
- Increase your level of insulation that you have which are located near inside pipes. Insulating your foundation and under your house where pipes are located as well as inside cabinets and other areas can help keep pipes from getting too cold.
- Drain and remove any outside water hoses that you may have attached to the exterior faucets. Water that is still inside the water hose can expand and back up into the pipes, causing them to burst.
- Cover outside water faucets during the coldest winter months to avoid freezing. By insulating or covering your outside faucets, you prevent the external pipes from freezing that lead to your house.
- Install “heat tape” or “heat cable” products around exposed pipes, especially those that are exposed to the extreme cold.
- Open bathroom or kitchen cabinets to allow heat within your home to circulate close to the pipes that are likely to freeze. Believe it or not, just something as simple as opening a cabinet door will help circulate the heat in your house to protect your pipes that are above ground.
- Leave the heat on in your home (no lower than 55 degrees) to prevent freezing pipes while you are away. By keeping your pipes as warm as possible, you will avoid many pipe disasters.
- Thaw out frozen pipes with heating pads or hair dryers to restore full water pressure. Once you discover that a pipe is frozen (indicated by only a small trickle when you turn on the water source), you should work immediately to restore full water pressure to avoid further pipe damage.
How to Protect Your Home Foundation
Taking care of a house takes many different approaches. During the winter months, it’s important to protect your pipes from freezing to avoid both busted pipes and the resulting flooding that can occur.
Keeping your home warm, turning on a faucet slightly when temperatures reach below freezing, and other techniques can serve to protect your home from these situations. However, you need also to have your home foundation inspected, whether you suspect frozen pipes or not.
The Importance of Home Foundation Health
The foundation health of your home is critical to keeping your house in the best condition. No matter what the weather, it is always important to get your home’s foundation checked to avoid problems and get ahead of it before it becomes a bigger problem.
Foundation Repair Houston/Dallas and Area
For home foundation inspections in Houston or the surrounding areas, call on the experts at abrybros.com. We have been in the foundation home repair and inspection business since the 1840s. We are known as “The Abry Brothers,” and our business has been built on over a century of service to their customers, since their humble beginnings.
We will do free inspections for new customers anytime by calling 800.787.8288.
We will work on the following types of repairs to help fix your foundation:
- Cracked Foundation Repair
- Concrete Foundation Repair
- Home Foundation Repairs
What about in-home flooding?
In-home flooding can occur from a variety of sources. Bathroom plumbing such as bathtubs can create plumbing issues or flooding, as well as water heaters, kitchen faucets, and other fixtures. Busted pipes are a common cause of in-home flooding during the winter time.
Prevent and protect first by using insulation and the other tips that we have offered in this post. Then call a plumber immediately if you notice in-home flooding to stop the leaks.
To be sure you prevent a home disaster, prevention is worth a pound of cure. Contact us today at Abry Brothers for a free inspection and rest more comfortably when the winter wind blows cold!