Pipe Safety: How to Prepare for Winter
Frozen pipes are more than just an inconvenience. As water turns to ice, it expands from the increase in pressure. This can cause pipes to crack and eventually rupture without proper preparation during the cold and winter months. This blog will share ways that homeowners can prevent frozen pipes and protect their homes.
Why Are Frozen Pipes Dangerous?
Frozen pipes can burst and cause significant damage even if located in the walls or underground. Broken piping can lead to water damage that wrecks ceilings, floors, and wiring. Burst pipes also dramatically increase the likelihood of mould in the walls.
In addition to the effects of water damage in the home, fungus growth can quickly create health issues. If inhaled regularly, mold can cause worsened allergies, headaches, and skin irritation. Sometimes the side effects are similar to a common cold, but if left untreated, mold can impact breathing quality.
Contaminants from the outside can enter the plumbing system if a pipe cracks or bursts. Once it circulates into the water supply, household members may find their tap water looks cloudy or discolored. Even water that looks clean is still unsafe to drink if chemicals have come in contact with exposed piping.
What is Pipe Insulation?
Pipe insulation is designed to cover indoor and outdoor pipes. It can be made with fibreglass, aerogel, glass wool, rigid foam, and polyethylene. Environmentally-friendly material is also available without the use of formaldehyde. All plumbing systems can benefit from mould-resistant elastomeric thermal insulation.
Foam pipe insulation is used to prevent burst pipes but also has additional benefits. It is natural for pipes to make noise, especially in older houses, but insulation absorbs the sound. Once the vibrations are muffled, the entire house seems quieter. Pipe insulation also minimizes the possibility of excess condensation forming from irregular temperatures.
A consistent temperature is critical for above and below-ground pipes. Pipe insulation also helps prevent pipes from freezing by effectively working as a thick blanket that keeps the water warmer longer and allows it to continue moving through the lines without freezing. This reduces energy consumption and saves homeowners money on their energy bills.
More Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes
There are a few ways homeowners can prevent freezing pipes in addition to using pipe insulation. Heating tape is highly effective at helping to avoid pipes freezing. Electrical heating tape can be wrapped around visible pipes in the home. Depending on the tape, sensors may be attached for energy savings. The sensors are designed to automatically turn off once the pipes are maintained at a specific temperature. Qualified professionals are necessary for installation.
Homeowners that leave their thermostats running at the same temperature are less likely to experience burst pipes. Even though it may seem more cost-efficient to turn the heat off for certain intervals of the day, this ultimately affects the integrity of the pipes.
Kitchen closets and built-in drawers can help homeowners circulate warm air to prevent frozen pipes simply by leaving them open. This allows the warm air from the heater to reach the lines and helps prevent them from freezing. This is especially true in Ottawa, where winters can cause sudden cold snaps.
In addition to the indoors, garages also play a part in heat circulation. Garage doors should be kept completely closed during the winter months. This cuts down on cool temperatures affecting the outdoor pipes. Running a small amount of water through the outdoor pipes can also prevent freezing.
About Plumbing Now
The team at Plumbing Now are pet-friendly plumbers serving Ottawa, ON, and the surrounding neighborhoods. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day service, and after-hours service. Call them today for water leak detection and burst pipe repair in Ottawa, ON.