How to Avoid Frozen Pipes in Winter
Although often beautiful and festive, Winter presents a lot of problems both in and around the home. As the temperatures plummet and the sun seems to disappear for a few months, water pipes are at severe risk of freezing.
In this blog, we will outline why this is a problem and how you can take measures to avoid it. If you are facing a drainage issue and require immediate assistance all-year-round, give us a call on 0808 164 0776.
Why Pipes Burst When Frozen
The unique chemistry of water and ice makes them a serious threat for pipes within your home. This is due to the fact that water does not react as you would expect as it solidifies and can force the pipe to burst open from the inside.
With the vast majority of substances and chemicals, when you freeze something, it will shrink, and when you heat a material, it will expand. This is most evident in the Eiffel tower, which can grow and shrink by around 6 inches between Summer and Winter.
Water does not quite act this way; when you cool liquid water if contracts, as you would expect. However, at about 4°C, the water begins to expand slightly. When it reaches freezing point, it will grow by roughly 9%.
This is because of the formation of crystals in the water (that we won’t bother to go into here), and it can compromise your pipes. If they are full of ice and water and the final liquids solidify, then the last expansion can at minimum block the pipes and, at worst, burst them entirely.
How to Stop Your Pipes from Freezing
It is essential to keep in mind that although pipes in unheated spaces such as basements, lofts, and garages are most at risk, pipes in cabinets or exterior walls are also at serious risk when the temperature plummets.
There are a few tactics and methods you can utilise to keep your pipes unfrozen during Winter, avoiding a lot of strife and unexpected bills throughout the festive season that will help to keep your home unflooded and your water running correctly.
Use Pipe Insulation: Pipe insulation is incredibly cheap and very effective, often less than £1 for a metre. Using this liberally around exposed pipes throughout your home can help to maintain the temperature in the pipes and protect them from the invasive cold surrounding it.
Keep the Thermostat Steady: Keeping your temperature steady is vital in terms of keeping your pipes unfrozen. Turning it off at night to save money is not a good investment; if your pipes freeze and burst the repair bills will be significantly more expensive.
Heat the House on Holiday: If you go away during the Winter, it is vital that you keep your central heating set to a minimum of 12°C (or 55°F). This will help you to make sure that you do not come home to any nasty surprises.
Let Taps Drip: So long as it isn’t too loud or annoying, it can be a good idea to let the tap drip during cold spells. Even this slight amount of running water can make a big difference and will prevent the ice from gaining a foothold.
Get in Touch
No matter how vigilant you are this Winter, there is always a chance that your pipe will freeze regardless. When this happens, flooding can very quickly cause thousands of pounds of damage throughout your property and will make the festive season very miserable!
We offer an all-year-round emergency service with technicians available even on Christmas Day and the 1st of January. With an average emergency response time of just 1-2 hours, you can rely on us to arrive and have the situation under control quickly.
Our personnel are trained to the highest standard and operate vans which are fully-stocked with everything they might need to address a burst pipe – there will be no waiting around while they wait for equipment which they should be carrying already.
Clark Drainage is also available for non-emergency jobs such as routine maintenance, CCTV drain surveys, or even installation of entirely new systems. With the resources to work on anything from domestic tasks to vast industrial projects, we are the best people for the job regardless of the size.
To book in work today or to make an inquiry, give us a call now on 0808 164 0776.
Alternatively, fill in our contact form, and one of our operators will give you a call as soon as possible.