When water freezes it expands, this is why if your pipes freeze they can and will burst – such as in the photo!
Open your cupboard doors – If you are worried about your pipes freezing and the potential of bursting… If you have pipes/taps on outside walls, open your cupboard doors to allow heat from your home in.
Heat from a lamp – If that doesn’t help plug a lamp in and put it under the sink (safely… not near anything flammable!) the heat from the bulb will help.
Run water – If you are really concerned, turn on the tap and let it run, a small consistent stream will help prevent freezing.
Insulate – If your home is very old and does not have a lot of insulation in the walls you could add some foam board insulation to the back of your kitchen cabinet to help prevent freezing.
What if I dont have a basement? If you live in a mobile home or a home with a crawl space, ensure you have heat tape for your pipes and that the underneath of the home is properly insulated and sealed! If your home was built on a slab on grade most likely you will have in floor heating, ensure the heating system is kept at a consistent temperature and have your system maintained regularly.
Getting away from the cold – If you are going away ensure you have someone checking on your home at least once a day – twice in cold weather like this.
Consistency – When the weather turns cold it is very important to keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature even during the night. Set your thermostat at a comfortable level and leave it.
Its too late… what should you do?
If your pipes have froze you can try to thaw them yourself. First open your taps, second use a heat source such as a hair dryer or a small portable heater. Be very careful to ensure you remove anything flammable prior to applying heat – especially in the kitchen if there are cleaners in the cabinets.
If you are not able to get your pipes thawed its time to call the professionals. Our plumbers have dealt with many frozen pipes! Either way once you get your problem solved – ensure you will be ok for the next deep freeze with proper insulation such as wall insulation, floor insulation, pipe insulation and heat tape.
Do not wait until you have issues to take preventative action. Ensure you have proper wall insulation, ensure the underside of your home (this includes basements) is insulated properly. If you are already planning a renovation pipes can be re-routed to lessen the chance of freezing. Unless you are considering gutting an older home back to the studs to completely re-insulate the home, sometimes in an older home re-routing the plumbing is the best option to get the pipes off of an outside wall. The costs for preventative maintenance will be well worth the costs you could face if your pipes freeze and burst!
Unsure of what you should do? Feel free to give Mike our Comfort Advisor a call he would be happy to recommend some options for you to ensure your home is safe!