Frozen Bursting Water Pipes? Here's the scoop
When you hear of the potentially disastrous effects bursting water pipes can have, you may wonder what causes a pipe to burst. The short answer is the expansion of hydrogen and oxygen molecules, but let’s be realistic - what you’re probably wondering is how to prevent bursting pipes and what to do in the unfortunate case that pipes do freeze and can’t hold the pressure.
Let’s start by talking about what steps can be taken on the preventive side:
Tip #1: Insulate your pipes
This is the A-#1 tip to reduce the risk of pipes freezing and bursting. When your pipes are properly insulated, you decrease the risk of bursting pipes significantly. Here are a couple of things to consider when choosing the right insulation for your pipes:
Location matters. Are you insulating indoor or outdoor pipes? The colder the area the pipes are in, the more necessary it is to insulate. Not only does this help with the bursting risk factor but there are a few bonus benefits, as well!!
R-value rating. Why does this matter? In short, the R-value refers to the amount of thermal insulation provided by the insulation product and is rated on a scale between 1 - 5. The higher the R-value rating, the more protection your pipes will have. NOTE: All pipe insulation products should have the R-value rating clearly marked on the packaging or in the product description.
Tip #2: Let your faucets drip slightly
Letting your faucets drip ever so slightly will help release pressure in pipes helping to avoid the chance of burst pipes. Keeping water moving a little makes it harder to freeze. This isn’t the most eco-friendly solution, but it has been known to help. (You can also keep a bucket under the slow dripping faucet to capture the water and use it to water plants or wash dishes!)
Tip #3: Keep your thermostat temperature consistent
Keeping the temperature at a steady level inside your home helps combat fluctuation in pipe temperature, which could factor in freezing pipes.
In closing, remember that things happen and these tips are not 100% guaranteed, but will definitely help. In the event that you do have an emergency situation, remember that SERVPRO is certified and ready to help.
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