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Winter in Nampa is just getting started. Cold temperatures can mean possible damage to your home in the form of frozen pipes. Not only are frozen pipes inconvenient, but they can also cause some pretty serious water damage and restoration issues. When water freezes, it expands. This expansion puts strain on the walls of the pipe and causes an extreme build-up of pressure. Pipes are not built to expand and can only handle so much pressure before they will burst. If a pipe bursts, the water will leak out in your home when it thaws. Water damage can lead to mold growth, restoration costs, and can threaten the integrity of your walls, floors, ceiling, or anywhere the water damage occurs, which is why you want to try to avoid it at all costs. So here is what you need to know about frozen pipes this winter.
Some pipes are more prone to freezing than others. Pipes located in areas that do not have heat, or have less heat than living areas in your home like garages, crawl spaces, attics, or exterior walls of the home, are more vulnerable to water freezing than pipes centrally located in the home. Any areas of the home that lack insulation and have no heat source to maintain the temperature are areas where pipes are more likely to freeze.
The first sign of a frozen pipe is the lack of running water when the faucet is turned on. If no water is coming out of the faucet, or only a very small trickle of water is coming out, your pipe is probably frozen. You can investigate further by looking for frost or excess water accumulation on the exterior of the pipe – this is a warning sign that the pipe is in fact frozen.
Pipes cannot freeze if the temperature stays above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops lower than that, you need to begin to take precautions to keep vulnerable pipes from freezing. One of the easiest ways to prevent pipes from freezing is to keep a slow, steady drip of water coming from the faucet. Standing water in pipes will freeze, so as long as water is moving, even if it is just dripping, it cannot freeze. Another way to keep your pipes from freezing is to keep the heat on and at a set temperature day and night. Keeping pipes warm will prevent them from freezing. If you cannot heat certain areas of your home where there are vulnerable pipes, you can add extra insulation or heating tape to pipes. There are different kinds of pipe insulation so go check at your local hardware store to find what will work best for you. You should also keep cabinet doors under sinks open to allow the warm air to get in around the pipes.
If you end up dealing with water damage this winter, whether from a frozen burst pipe or any other source, the water damage restoration experts at Ultra Clean are ready to help. Give us a call right away, and we will handle the entire process from start to finish.