Pipes can burst year-round for several reasons, including clogs, corrosion, damage, and of course, freezing temperatures. Cold winter weather may cause pipes to freeze, water to build up, and pipes to burst. While frozen pipes may seem like just an inconvenience, a burst pipe can do a lot of damage to your home.
Where Might Pipes Freeze?
In many areas of Northern California, pipes are located in insulated spaces or protected with insulation. This helps reduce the risk of freezing, however, plumbing in unheated areas such as basements, attics, crawl spaces, garages, and exterior walls can be at risk.
Between the lack of running water and its potential to burst, a frozen pipe is one we want to avoid. If pipes burst indoors, they can result in extensive and expensive water damage.
Signs of a Frozen Pipe
- Little to no water running from faucets
- Frost build up on the pipes
- Persistent plumbing issues
- Damp drywall
- Unusual sounds or odors
How To Diagnose A Frozen Pipe
If pipes are frozen, we recommend calling a plumber for emergency service. Frozen pipes cause a lot of damage if not treated quickly and carefully. Avoid defrosting the pipes yourself, especially since pipes may already have burst. If it unfreezes, the water might come rushing out.
How To Prevent Pipes From Freezing
When temperatures fall below freezing, take precautions to prevent damage to your plumbing system. To prevent frozen pipes:
- Keep water moving by allowing faucets to drip
- Drain water from pipes likely to freeze
- Insulate areas around vents and light fixtures
- Seal wall cracks
- Open bathroom and kitchen cabinets to circulate warm air
- Keep the thermostat on
- And call a plumber for regular inspection and maintenance
If pipes are already frozen, be very careful. Do not thaw them with an open flame. Frozen pipes can be thawed with blow dryers, space heaters, and heat tape, but they must be used safely. Talk to your plumber if you’re unsure.
What Happens If A Pipe Bursts?
Start with shutting off the main water supply to minimize flooding. While calling your local plumber, if it is safe to do so, remove as much water as possible using sponges, towels, or a wet/vac. This can help minimize mold and mildew risks.
For expert residential routine maintenance or emergency repairs, give Super Service Plumbing a call at (707) 544-6444 today.
Proud to help our Sonoma County communities including:
Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Cotati and beyond.