How To Safeguard Against Frozen Pipes This Winter

Category: Save Water

Winter has arrived and with it the risk of frozen pipes, especially if you live in Canberra and the surrounding region. Frozen pipes prevent water flow but can even burst and cause flooding, structural damage and mould. However, there's no need to stress and worry as there are some simple steps you can take to avoid issues from occurring. Today's we're looking at how you can best safeguard your home against frozen pipes this winter.

How does it happen?

Quite simply, when the water in pipes freeze, the pipes expand which can cause extreme pressure to build up. Sometimes this pressure is enough to cause almost any pipe filled with water to rupture resulting in hundreds of litres per hour of water pouring into the surrounding area. While frozen pipes may just seem like an inconvenience in a household, stopping you from doing everyday tasks such as taking a shower and washing the dishes- the risk of being out of pocket thousands of dollars if major repairs are needed can be much more serious.

Pipes can freeze regardless of whether they are made from copper or plastic so it's important not to get complacent. Your pipes can be more susceptible to freezing if there is a significant drop in temperature, especially if they are exposed and can be frozen in a number of places, although it is more commonly found when pipes run against exterior walls or where the water service enters the home through ceiling cavities.

What are the signs?

The best signal of being at risk of frozen pipes is when the temperature falls to zero degrees or less. Sometimes you can notice frost accumulating on exposed pipes outside the home. If you can't see any frost, another obvious way to detect frozen pipes is if it's extremely cold outside and no water is coming from your faucet.

What to do

There are preventative measures you can take to minimise the incidence of frozen pipes.

• Insulate where you can even your pipes
One of the best ways to mitigate the risk of frozen pipes are properly insulating them from cold weather. This can be by ensuring there is greater insulation in those areas more prone to being cold and damp like basements, ceiling cavities and the garage. You also have the option of using several products to insulate pipes themselves like utilizing 'pipe sleeve' or installing 'heat tape' or 'heat cable' to provide increased protection from freezing. The more insulation used, the better protected your pipes will be.

• Seal up cracks and holes
If your pipe insulation has weakened over time due to harsh climates or simply age they may have developed cracks and holes. Even a very small opening can cause pipes to freeze with severe weather. While sealing up damaged insulation can provide some short-term relief, you will need a qualified plumber to come in and replace the damaged insulation.

• Keep the heat on
A very simple solution to protect your pipes from freezing is to allow warm water to drip overnight from a tap on the outside wall. Allowing a flow of water through your water system prevents them from freezing. Keep in mind that this approach wastes water (and money) and should only be a very temporary measure.

Don't procrastinate - Act quickly

In the winter months, especially living in an area that is prone to sub-zero degree temperatures, you really need to get on the front foot to protect your pipes from freezing. If you already detect that you have frozen pipes, you should contact a licensed plumber immediately to complete an inspection, thaw any pipes that are affected and apply any treatments (like replacing pipes if leaking) to prevent them from rupturing and causing greater damage to your property.

Say no to cracked or split pipes and call Laser Plumbing today where we can fool-proof your pipes for the extreme Winter temperatures. Beat the freeze and contact us today for a free consultation.