If you’re living in a chilly place like Toronto, then you might have experienced the pesky issue of frozen pipes during winter. It’s a big headache because it can disrupt your utilities and potentially lead to costly repairs. We totally understand how frustrating it can be to deal with frozen pipes in your home.
That’s why we are here with the ultimate guide to frozen pipes in house where we will talk about the signs you’ll see and the damage from frozen pipes. Also, we will give you our experts tips to prevent future frozen pipe calamities.
What Causes Frozen Pipes To Burst?
Water is a powerful force that may burst your lines no matter how durable they are. If the water is frozen, you’re in trouble. Frozen water expands significantly, and the force generated due to the expansion can cause even metal pipes to break or crack. Minor cracks can cause undetected water damage that remains for a very long time damaging your property over time.
The lack of insulation in plumbing pipes is a frequent cause of pipe freezing. Plumbing can be installed underneath floors, in basements, or in crawl spaces where temperatures may be lower than in other parts of the house.
Managing a problem like frozen pipes can be difficult. By taking properpreventative actions, you can be well aware if your pipes are frozen. Let’s have a deeper dive on how to detect early signs of frozen pipes.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
No Water Flow
The most obvious sign that you have frozen pipes will be if you suffer from the lack of water coming out of your faucets. This means that the water in your supply pipes has frozen solid. In some cases, due to a partial freeze, you may still see drops of water.
Water expands as it freezes, creating an enormous amount of pressure that can cause a pipe to dramatically bulge. This is also one of the prominent signs of frozen pipes in house.
If your pipes begin to make weird noises like banging or gurgling, it may be a sign that ice is moving through them. Eventually, this will lead the whole pipeline to freeze.
Cracks and Condensation
A pipe could form ice if you see moisture or minor surface cracks.This can mean your pipes have frozen and eventually can lead to brust.
If you smell something awful coming from sinks, it may be frozen water in the pipes under the sink. If an entire pipe is completely blocked by ice, foul odors can only return up your drain and into your house. Your faucets typically smell like sewage when an outside sewer line freezes.
The last and most severe sign of frozen pipes indicates water damage. If your pipes are already frozen, symptoms of flooding or structural damage can be traced to frozen plumbing since a burst pipe can let a lot of water into your property.
Of course, frozen pipes may sustain only slight structural harm. If so, the leak will probably be considerably less noticeable. If the leak occurs behind walls or away from the main parts of your home, you might not immediately detect it.
Some indications that your property may have concealed water damage include:
- Peeling or bubbling wallpaper and paint.
- Intense, musty smells connected to mold.
- Stains like dirt that are green, black, or orange (which also points to mold growth)
- The sound of water rushing.
- Damage to the walls and ceilings’ structural integrity (sagging, collapsing, texturing)
Any of the aforementioned problems should serve as an early warning to contact a qualified plumbing service as soon as possible.
Dangers of Frozen Pipes
Property Damage Risk
You might ask, ‘Do frozen pipes always burst’?. Well, it always might not but when it does, your house suffers severe water damage, and it also affects your possessions. Not to mention the money you must spend on plumbing emergency services to stop the flooding.
Risk of Injuries
If your frozen pipes are already broken the danger of flooding increases. It also causes issues with the wiring in your property, which might ultimately lead to electrocution, house fires, electric shocks, and even fatalities which might be detrimental to you and the inhabitants in your home coming from something as simple as a frozen pipe!.
Additional Repair Costs
When your pipes are frozen, you must pay for pipe replacement, flood control, and the expense of cleaning up the mess caused by the flooding, emergency plumbing services may be quite expensive. This is money that you never accounted for. So its recommended to detect early signs of frozen pipes and prevent it as much as possible.
You won’t have access to water for days if your water pipes freeze. In addition, if you have burst pipes in your home, you will need to completely cut off the supply to allow for repair. It may take days to schedule water damage repair, and while you wait for the repair company to restore the system, you will be without water.
Improperly Thawed Pipes Can Be Dangerous
Some homeowners make the error of trying to fast defrost their pipes by heating them. Using a space heater or a hairdryer is not advised since the rapid temperature change might cause fractures within the pipes. Proper equipment is required to gently defrost pipes, and plumbers have the appropriate training in the safe and efficient removal of ice blocks from plumbing lines.
People try to defrost their pipes using a variety of techniques. There have been press reports about individuals trying to defrost their pipes using blow torches and other heat sources, which resulted in fires breaking out in homes and apartments. People believe that this will resolve their issues, yet it frequently worsens the situation.
These devices may cause fires, but they also create a substantial risk of severe harm. Some heating appliances may even melt certain pipes, which may result in leaks or a significant flood of water into the house.
In order to guarantee that their frozen pipes are handled safely and without causing any harm or property damage, homeowners would be prudent to depend on a professional plumbing service. Calling a plumber soon away will ensure that no risky measures are taken while the water is being turned back on.
Prevention Steps To Avoid Frozen Pipes
Improve the insulation and heating of your home and plumbing if you experience frozen pipes regularly. There is no need to have headaches every year because of ice in your plumbing. Choose a qualified plumbing service so you’ll know who to call if there are problems. In the long term, taking these preventative measures can save you money since you won’t need to pay as frequently for plumbing services and frozen pipe repairs.
Heater Cables And Plumbing Insulation
You can put insulation and heating wires on certain pipes that run up against exterior walls or have already frozen. Insulation for pipes that fits over the pipe effectively traps heat within your pipes all winter long. It is a set-and-forget system that is easy to install and will endure for years.
As an alternative, you might get heating wires that run alongside your pipes. They need to be plugged in, but they’ll warm your pipes right away. Regardless of the outside temperature, this is sufficient to avoid freezing and melt any frost or ice that does form.
Then again, you must check your pipes from time to time to see if the fix is working.
Home Insulation Inspection
Similar to the aforementioned suggestion, you should consider inspecting the insulation in your house. Old or insufficient insulation in your home, which causes drafts and cold places to form, can occasionally be the source of frozen pipes.
Set up an infrared camera check by speaking with a contractor. These evaluations may pinpoint precisely where your home loses the most heat and indicate where new insulation is most likely needed. By simply replacing the insulation that has to be removed, you may save money while also shortening the installation process.
Maintenance of Furnace and Ducts
In addition to inspecting your home’s insulation, you should consider enhancing the furnace’s general performance and efficiency. You should start with ducts. Your home’s ventilation will be hampered by ductwork that is clogged with dust and dirt.
As a result, some parts of your home may not be sufficiently heated throughout the winter, increasing the risk of frozen pipes. The risk might be decreased by hiring a professional to clean the ducts and vents
Your ductwork is only the beginning of the problem, though. When a furnace ages, internal parts like the fan, blower, or heating element become less efficient. To ensure your furnace is running properly and heating your house effectively, you can contact an HVAC specialist service like Citizen Plumbing here in Ontario.
Is Frozen Pipe Covered By Insurance?
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, sudden and accidental bursting of plumbing pipes and appliances is covered by all home insurance policies. However, damage may not be covered when freezing causes the escape of water.
So, like the majority of Canadians, you might also feel that house insurance will cover this sort of damage. While this is frequently the case, it can be challenging to get coverage for water damage depending on where you purchase your home insurance policy.
Most home insurance policies include a provision stating that if you are gone from your house for more than a few days in a row during the winter, you must either turn off the water supply and empty the pipes or hire a qualified individual to check on your house every day to make sure the heat is on.
While the specifics of this limitation vary from company to business, you can be confident that there will be a tight necessity to protect your house while you’re gone.
In conclusion, dealing with frozen pipes can be a frustrating and inconvenient experience for homeowners. However, it is important to address the issue promptly in order to avoid potential damage to your home’s plumbing system and costly repairs.
Preventative measures such as insulating pipes, keeping a steady temperature in your home, and allowing faucets to drip during extreme cold weather can help avoid frozen pipes.
In the event that your pipes do freeze, taking immediate action to thaw them out can prevent further damage by a plumbing & heating expert.
By staying vigilant and taking the necessary precautions we have provided in this blog, you can avoid the headache and expense of dealing with frozen pipes in your home.