The nation has been struck by a cold snap the past week causing record dropping temperatures everywhere! The Pacific Northwest was not spared the chilly weather and while the snow was lovely, many are suffering damages from the cold, cold weather. One of the most common affects we have seen from the below freezing temperatures has been frozen pipes. When water freezes inside pipes, it expands, resulting in the pipes bursting or cracking. The damage caused the pipe is most commonly caused by this expansion, not necessarily the blocked water. Pipes that are exposed to the elements (such pipes that run through attics, garages and outdoors) are most likely to freeze and cause damage, since they are not protected at all from the elements. Here are some basic tips to prevent pipes from breaking and potentially expensive and extensive water damage:
- Drain and disconnect all outdoor hoses and sprinkler lines. Install covers on these outside faucets to prevent the internal lines from freezing.
- Make sure that all exposed piping (such as lines in attics and basements) are insulated to ensure they are able to withstand the cold temperatures. Never use heat lamps to warm these pipes as they present a potential fire hazard.
- Allow water from exposed pipes to trickle from the faucet. Fluid is less likely to freeze if it is allowed to move even a small amount.
- Keep your house around 68 degrees, even if you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. If you are able, make sure your basement is heated as well. Weather seal your windows to heat your home more efficiently.
- Should your pipes freeze, thaw the faucet first and then move gradually toward the source to prevent a blockage in the piping. Leave the faucet open as the pipe gradually thaws.
If your pipes do break or you experience any type of water damage to your home, Kennedy Restoration is always here to assist you!