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How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

Homeowners, both old and new, face a constant battle. Your home is always in need of maintenance. There are problems which arise no matter how hard you work to keep things under wraps. As a homeowner, there is a lot to worry about when it comes to the wellbeing of your home. Each new season brings with it the challenges of caring for parts of your home both inside and out. Sometimes homeowners fail to maintain what they can’t see at the moment. Always remember that the guts of your home are just as important as what you can see on the outside. This is especially true when cold weather comes knocking and extra care is needed to make sure your home is ready for winter. One of the biggest messes you can have when it comes to winter accidents is by letting your pipes freeze. Frozen pipes can lead to major repair bills, water damage, and even mold. Below are some guidelines for detecting and thawing frozen pipes.

Signs of Frozen Pipes

If you’ve never experienced frozen pipes before then it may not be immediately apparent to you. One surefire sign of frozen pipes come in the form of an extremely serious plumbing incident – pipes bursting. A pipe often bursts when too much pressure begins to build in said pipe. Once frozen, the actual water in the pipe begins to freeze. The pressure forms between the frozen water and closet faucet. At that point, the pressure eventually causes the pipe to explode. This is the worst circumstance possible as far as frozen pipes go, but there are other signs to watch out for. If you turn on your water and only a few drops come out then it might be a sign that you need to call a plumber or remedy the situation quickly. If you’re unsure of what to do, calling a qualified plumber can make the job much easier than it would be otherwise.

How to Thaw

The process of thawing your frozen pipes has a few different steps. Taking the time to do these steps properly can make the job run smoothly and easily and prevent future damage. The first step to thawing your pipes is to keep your faucets open. As you begin thawing your pipes it will, of course, lead to melting water. If your faucets aren’t open then the melted water has no place to divert to. Water running through the pipes will also help with the melting process. Find which pipes are frozen. Often these pipes will have ice or frosted parts on them.  After these steps, you simply need to heat the pipes back up. Under no circumstances should you use an open flame device or a propane heater. This can cause more damage. Instead, one of the best instruments you can use comes in the form of a hairdryer. The process might be a little slow but heating it up gradually is the best method for ensuring your pipes are back in perfect working order. In the event that your frozen pipes aren’t accessible then calling a plumber is the best option.

Pipe Susceptibility

There are many reasons why pipes are susceptible to becoming frozen in the winter. It could be due to the location in your home or geographical location. In southern climates, there is an increased venerability to your pipes than there would be in other locations. The temperatures often don’t reach a low level and the shock of such cold temperatures can often leave pipes at an increased risk for freezing. Exterior walls and basements are also at risk of becoming frozen much more quickly than other pipes in your home. Exterior walls are, of course, nearer to cooler temperatures than their interior counterparts. Basements and attics more than likely aren’t provided the same amount of heat as the rest of the home and are more likely to freeze when temperatures plummet. If your pipes continually freeze each winter then it might be a wise investment to relocate exterior pipes to the interior of your home.

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