WHICH PIPES ARE MORE LIKELY TO FREEZE?
Kansas winters like the one we are experiencing in 2019 can be harsh on your home. Unfortunately, when your pipes start to freeze, the water inside them can expand. If this goes on for too long, the water can cause the pipes to rupture, leading to costly flooding and other problems. Although everyone knows that pipes should not be allowed to freeze, it’s an unfortunate part of human nature that out of sight typically means out of mind. However, it’s the pipes that you simply don’t see very often that may be in the most danger of freezing and bursting. Pipes that are more likely to freeze in in your home or building include:
- Pipes located in unheated crawl spaces or attic spaces
- Pipes in exterior walls where the heat from the building may not help them remain thawed
- Pipes running outside of the building
- Pipes that may run through a part of the building which is not in use and is not being heated
- Anywhere a pipe is exposed to the elements
- Pipes hidden under sinks, especially sinks that are next to outside walls
If you have frozen or broken pipes, you may not even know it until the water has been running into your home or business for a significant amount of time. This hidden catastrophe can be extremely costly, especially since some insurance policies refuse to pay for damage that comes from the flooding resulting from broken pipes.
What causes frozen pipes to burst? While many people may know that freezing is the ultimate culprit, they may not know that there are things they can do in order to minimize the risk and protect their pipes from freezing.
Further, not all broken pipes are immediately noticeable. Sometimes you can have a slow leak from a ruptured pipe that can go on for weeks or months. These hidden leaks can sometimes end up being among the costliest because of the amount of damage that they can do before they are discovered.
HOW DO I KNOW MY PIPE IS FROZEN?
Here are the things to watch for when determining whether you have a frozen pipe.
- Funny sounds. If your pipes are making odd noises when you use them (such as bubbling) you may be hearing air pockets that are moving in the pipes. The air pockets sometimes come from pipes which have broken and are allowing air to come in (and water to come out).
- The smell of an unpleasant odor. Not surprisingly, the mold or rot that can arise from a slow leak will give off an unpleasant odor. If you smell something musty or damp it may be a sign that you have a broken pipe somewhere.
- Damp or spotted interior surfaces. Water is wet (obviously) so if you notice a ceiling surface or a wall that is suddenly damp, that water must be coming from somewhere. It could be from a pipe which has burst elsewhere in the building, and the water could be running down the interior of a wall or floor.
- Changes in plumbing flow. If a faucet suddenly starts flowing differently—such as at a lower volume than usual—it may be because some of the water is running out of a rupture somewhere rather than running out of the faucet.
We hope this helps in determining your home needs. Please stay warm this winter and we are ready to help you if needed. If you need any assistance with your home improvement needs, please call Besel’s at (913) 682-7000 or fill out a form for us to visit HERE.