Frozen and burst pipes can have seriously damaging effects on the home, which is why it's so important to take care of any issues with frozen pipes quickly and efficiently.
Frozen pipes have been an enemy of homeowners for as long as plumbing and piping has been available for the general public. Plumbing, by its very nature, is often subject to freezing in cold temperatures due to its functionality of carrying water through the home.
Unfortunately, frozen pipes aren't just an annoyance. They can cause serious, long lasting damage to your home and cost a hefty amount to have fixed. When a frozen pipe bursts, it can release a large amount of water very quickly, leading to flooding and severe water damage. Because of this, it's best to be on the lookout for frozen piping and know how to prevent them from bursting.
The Dangers of Frozen and Burst Pipes
A frozen pipe can have serious consequences if left unattended to:
- A burst pipe can expel hundreds of gallons of water within a blink of an eye. Water is necessary for life, but it can also destroy homes and personal belongings. In the blink of an eye, pictures, furniture, decorations and keepsakes can be lost to the water, and not everything is replaceable.
- There's a high risk of injury as well if frozen pipes are left alone. The pressure within the plumbing can reach so high that when the pipe finally does burst, it can cause something like an explosion. This could happen within a wall, or even worse, to an exposed pipe with someone nearby. In the end, it could result in serious injuries.
- Burst pipes can indeed gush hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water--and that is dangerous in and of itself. However, what comes afterwards is just as dangerous. Mold and mildew are quick to seed and spread, with some strains being deadly to humans and animals, the issue will need to be resolved, hopefully before mold can set in. This can cost a pretty penny, especially on top of the expense of water damage and property loss as well as potential structural damage.
Recognizing The Signs of Frozen Piping
There are various ways to tell when there is frozen piping within your home, with some signs being more obvious than others.
- Low or no running water--If a pipe has froze somewhere within the plumbing system, it's likely that there will be no water running through the pipes, or that only a small amount of water will be able to come through the fixtures.
- Frost on the pipes--If the plumbing is visible at certain access points, such as within the basement or a utility closet then it will be immediately noticeable to the naked eye if there is a coating of frost on the piping. Frost indicates that the frozen pipe is vulnerable to bursting, and has been frozen solid for an extended period of time.
- Strange noises from the plumbing--As water within the pipes freezes and thaws, odd noises can often be heard. Clanging sounds, banging and even gurgling are common noises to hear as the ice within the plumbing system moves and becomes lodged in different locations.
- Unpleasant odors from the plumbing--It's not uncommon for the sewer line to be the section of pipe that freezes, and this can cause a series of problems--one of which is an unpleasant smell. If you're smelling sewage and waste within the home, especially near plumbing fixtures, this is a strong indication that the sewage line has frozen. If it bursts, it's more than just water damage that will occur, but a biohazard company will also be needed for their services.
- Cracking on the pipes--If you've noticed a crack in one of your pipes, this is a sign that there is increased pressure within the plumbing system, making it highly likely that there is a frozen pipe that could burst.
If you've noticed one or more of these signs, it's imperative to reach out to a professional plumber for assistance.
How A Plumber Can Help You Avoid Burst Pipes
Say you've noticed one or more of the above signs that a pipe within your plumbing system has frozen. If that's the case, the next step is to turn off the water to the home and call your local plumber. Attempting to thaw a frozen pipe on your own using a DIY approach could prove disastrous, which is why we highly recommend professional help. With a delicate situation like a frozen pipe, if you apply too much heat too soon, the plumbing could give way at any moment and leave you in a difficult situation. Without proper training, you could accidentally cause a far greater problem than you were already facing.
A professional plumber will know just what to do when presented with a frozen pipe, and will have the necessary equipment to get the job done safely and effectively. When the job's done, it's likely that a professional will recommend more insulation or new insulation around the plumbing to ensure that the problem doesn't repeat itself the following winter.
Finding a Local Plumber
A home's plumbing is an intricate system that should be handled with the utmost care. For this reason, it's always best to turn to the seasoned professionals when it comes to issues with frozen pipes.
Here at HomePro Match, we know the importance of finding the right person for the job, which is why we've created an easy to navigate website to locate professionals in your local area. If your home has been exhibiting the signs of a frozen pipe, reach out today!