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Tips For Avoiding Frozen Pipes Through The Cold Winter Months

by Feride Halma

Winter brings freezing temperatures across most of Canada, which means that your plumbing system is often at risk of freezing throughout those months. Although most of your interior pipes are probably protected from the outside cold, any pipes in uninsulated areas can be susceptible to freezing. If you're facing your first winter as a homeowner in Canada, here's what you need to know about protecting your pipes.

Start With Prevention

Preventative measures are the best place to start when protecting your pipes. Before the fall season gives way to snowfall, consider protecting your exposed pipe system with heat tape. As an alternative, you can also wrap them in added insulation to create a heat barrier. Make an effort to focus on the pipes that are on your exterior walls or in uninsulated parts of the house, such as crawl spaces.

When the temperatures are going to be below freezing overnight, turn on faucet or two and leave them running at a slow trickling rate. This keeps water flowing in the pipes, which helps to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Add some extra heat in particularly cold areas by installing a space heater. Open the cabinets and closet doors in those spaces so that the heat can penetrate the space and reach the pipes. Also, don't forget about any pipes in your garage – those are at risk too.

Deal With Freezing

If your preventative efforts don't prove to be enough to keep the pipes from freezing, you'll need to know how to address the problem. Start by identifying the pipes affected. Inspect all of the pipes so that you will know how widespread the issue is. Test each faucet in the house. If you have some that work and some that don't, that helps you determine which zones of the house have affected pipes.

Since water expands when it freezes, it means that any frozen pipes are probably cracked. Before you thaw the pipes, turn off the water supply. That reduces the risk of flooding in the house. Use indirect heat to thaw the pipes, which means using a heating pad or hair dryer to warm the pipes up. Examine the pipes first to locate any cracks. Put a bucket under any cracks to catch the water as it starts to thaw.

Frozen pipes can be an absolute disaster in your house. If you're concerned about your pipes or you find yourself facing frozen plumbing, contact Avalon Plumbing & Heating Ltd or a similar company.