In the cold season, you probably already know that, among many other problems, you may also have to deal with broken water pipes, mostly outdoors but sometimes indoors too. Water has the property of freezing and regardless of the materials a pipe is made of, frozen water can break it from the inside and flood the area. The pipes that freeze more often are those exposed to severe cold, such as hoses, pool lines, irrigation systems, poorly insulated exterior wall pipes, but also water supply pipes in unheated interior areas, such as basements, storage spaces, attics or garages.
However, if you are well prepared and have the right information, you can avoid these problems, which are often very costly. When the water freezes, it increases its volume by about 10%, making pipes burst from the inside, because the materials they are made from cannot cope with the pressure exerted on them.
So, before the arrival of winter, you will have to make some small changes, here and there, regarding some essential details.
“Preparation is the key”, say the water removal Phoenix specialists. Use polyurethane foam to block any small cracks in the piping system. Another thing that homeowners should have at hand is a patch kit to seal the pipes, as you will have to wait until favorable weather to make a permanent repair. And above all, make sure you have the contact details of a professional installer, ready to deal with frozen pipes. Look for a local installer, because they are prompter in providing emergency services and typically more reliable, because they have a reputation to protect in the community.
Drain the water from the pool and sprinkler lines, as directed by the manufacturer or installer. Do not put antifreeze in these pipes, even if you heard that this solution may keep you trouble-free, as it is harmful to the environment and dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife and the land.
Disconnect and drain water hoses. Open the taps to allow water to flow and drain the outdoor water system. Keep the valve open so that the pipe empties completely and does not risk to be damaged by the freezing remaining water.
The best thing you can do when you leave home for a longer time (a weekend or a vacation) is to turn off the main water tap before you go. This way, no matter what happens to the main water system while you are not home, you will significantly reduce the damage.
Check whether you have other water pipes around the house located in unheated areas. Take a look at basements, attics, garages, but also in kitchens and bathrooms. Water pipes in these areas should be insulated. Consider installing specific products to insulate water pipes as a “sleeve”. Talk to a specialist and take into account the recommendations you get, because not all insulation materials are suitable for the climate in your area. Additionally, you can opt for heating cables to protect your pipes during the winter.