Frozen pipes in Florida are rare, but not unheard of. It is important to know how to deal with them.
When winter hits there are always a few things that we do to try and stay warm and to keep our house insulated. You turn the heat on, pull out the space heaters, pull out the blankets, and maybe even start a fire. When water freezes, it has the unique property of expansion. No matter the strength of the pipe, water has the ability to make them break. The frozen water creates intense pressure due to the expansion. This causes the pipes to burst which can cause minimal to extensive damage. Read on to learn how to deal with frozen pipes in your home.
If you turn the faucet on and only get a trickle of water, you stand the chance of identifying frozen pipes early enough to unthaw them. If you go out of town and miss the warning signs, your pipes could come to have cracks ranging from hairline size to something that spans the length of the entire house. Some signs of frozen pipes are
Lack of Running Water
This is the biggest sign you have frozen pipes. This means your pipes have frozen solid. In some cases, a partial freeze can occur and you might still see a trickle of water.
Frost on Your Pipes
This could be hard to see sometimes, due to the location of your pipes. If you can pinpoint the section of pipe frozen, it can help you take the steps in order to melt it and it will better help you understand the extensiveness of insulation needed.
If there is a smell coming from your drain, frozen pipes are most likely the culprit. This can occur during warm months too, but that is from regular blockage and can be fixed easily. However, if you notice foul smells during the winter, frozen pipes are more likely to be the culprit.
This sign can be the most serious one of them all. A burst pipe can allow a large amount of water to pour into your home without you even knowing. If you notice any of these you could have water damage
- peeling, or bubbling paint and wall paper
- strong, musty smell associated with mold and mildew
- dirt like green, black, or orange stains can point to mildew and mold
- or the sound of running water
These are just a few ways to tell that your pipes are frozen. If you notice any of these issues, it’s always a good idea to call a professional to come assess the situation.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
There are a few steps you can take to avoid seasonal damage all together.
Know Your Plumbing
Be prepared for the cold weather by looking at your plumbing. Figure out where it is, if it in insulated at all, and make sue to know where the emergency shut off is.
Drain and Open During the Fall
All outdoor water lines to sprinkler systems and pools should be drained and removed in the fall. You should shut off all outdoor hose bibs also.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
There is an a sleeve-styles pipe insulation to help maintain temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit and prevent freezing.
Run a Tiny Amount of Water
By keeping the faucets open, the flowing water helps prevent pipes from freezing. You may consider keeping the ones open in the coldest areas of the house.
Your pipes need to remain sufficiently warm throughout the winter. Leaving your cabinets open around your under-sink pipes will be warmed with the rest of the room. Plugging in space heaters to run on low in problems areas doesn’t hurt either.
Look at Your Resources
There are a products created that will help warn you if your pipes do start to freeze. A freeze alarm is one that alerts your phone whenever your indoor temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit so that you can compensate with additional warmth. Also, a hot water circulating pump will monitor your pipes’ temperature and automatically circulate warm water throughout the hot and cold water lines whenever temperatures drop below a predetermined benchmark.