You may think that frozen pipes aren’t an issue for the Sunshine State because of, well, the sunshine. However, Florida homes may be more vulnerable to frozen pipes because the pipes may not be properly insulated against frigid temperatures, or they may be located in unprotected areas (or even outdoors). Abnormally cold weather puts these pipes at risk.
Cold temperatures can cause water pipes to freeze. Freezing in a pipe creates pressure inside and can cause the pipe to burst. This could lead to serious flooding, especially if there’s no one around to turn off the water. The best prevention against frozen pipes is to keep them warm enough to stay above the freezing point. You can do this with any one of these simple steps or, better still, a combination of measures.
Tip #1: Allow the Faucet to Drip
If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can open the faucet fed by that pipe just a bit so the faucet drips slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this relieves pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus keep the pipe from bursting. If the faucet is served by both hot and cold water pipes, open both faucet taps slightly, or set a single-handle faucet (such as a kitchen faucet) to warm.
Tip #2: Keep Interior Doors Open
Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperature drops, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.
Tip #3: Add Extra Insulation
Pipes that are located in areas that do not have proper insulation, such as attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes in attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.
Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors, or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.
Insulation can help keep a pipe closer to the temperature of the water inside the pipe, but it does not add heat to the pipe and will not prevent freezing if the pipe is exposed to prolonged freezing temperatures.
If you run into a problem, we’re here to help. For homeowners in Central Florida, there’s only one choice. We’re here for you 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ll never charge you more for overtime or holiday hours. Contact us today to schedule service. If water runs through it, we do it.