Why are Frozen Pipes so Bad and How Can You Prevent Them?

We are just getting into the swing of the winter season. At Essig, that means furnaces and frozen pipes are on our minds! We have other blogs about winter HVAC tips on our site, but today we wanted to focus on frozen pipes. Why are they so bad and how can the typical homeowner prevent them from happening in the first place?
Why Frozen Pipes Are Something You Should Worry About?
Frozen pipes are one of the worst things that can happen to your plumbing. While small leaks and repairs are straightforward problems to fix, frozen pipes can be a lot more costly to fix. Ice is less dense than water which causes it to expand. This expansion is powerful enough to damage the entire length of your pipes in some cases. While in some cases this can be isolated, often vast parts of your piping infrastructure are damaged.
When we have widespread damage, our pros may have to re-pipe your home or take other similarly drastic measures. This is why insurance companies report frozen pipes as one of the most expensive home insurance claims there is.
So now we understand that frozen pipes are something to be avoided. Luckily, they can be avoided through a process called winterization. We’ll explain how it works and how you can easily prep your pipes for the winter months and stop them from ever freezing over.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
It gets really cold here in Pennsylvania. It doesn’t matter if it’s snowing or not, when nighttime temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes are especially at risk. However, these tips are great for the entire winter season and preventative measures against frozen pipes won’t damage performance. Here are our tips!

Insulation is key. Insulation keeps heat inside your home which can warm up your pipes, too! Not only will great insulation prevent frozen pipes, but you’ll lower your heating bill as well!

Insulate the pipes themselves. While general insulation is great, it isn’t as specific as it could be. You can add direct insulation to your pipes fairly cheaply and it’s on of the single best ways to prevent frozen pipes. Pay special attention to exposed pipes because these are likely the coldest pipes in your home.

Use your heater to keep your pipes warm! Your heater should be running while your home, but if you leave home make sure your heater stays at around 55 degrees or so.

Close your garage door. This is a small thing, but it can do a lot to keep heat in your home.

Run your water when you need to. Running water doesn’t freeze as easily as stagnant water. This is because running water distributes temperatures more evenly than sitting water. In times of extremely cold weather, it might be useful to run your faucets just a little bit to keep the water moving and prevent freezing.

Overall, frozen pipes are a huge potential cost and a major headache. Your plumbing could be rendered completely ineffective if your pipes freeze. We recommend implementing some of these tips because preventative measures are the best way to deal with frozen pipes.
Essig Plumbing & Heating is here as an essential business for the community during this time. If you get frozen pipes this winter, we’d love to assess the damage and offer a helping hand. Feel free to give us a call at (610) 557-3302 or fill out an online contact form to set up an appointment for any of your plumbing or HVAC needs.

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