Minnesota is naturally cold in the winter, but this winter has proven to be especially harsh. Even though temperatures seem to be rising in some areas, forecasters say that we have not seen the last of the polar vortex. It is expected to visit us at least one more time before spring. Considering how tough this winter has been, it wouldn’t be surprising if it would decide to visit two or three more times.
So if you haven’t done so yet, it is time for you to safeguard your pipes. If you haven’t had issues yet, you’re lucky. If you have and you just finished having them repaired, it is best to ensure those pipes and all of the others in your home are protected against the rest of the winter. You especially have to be careful as the temperatures increase and they start to thaw. There is a lot of expansion and contraction as the temperature fluctuates, which is why it seems like pipes tend to burst during a warm-up.
So if it does happen to you, make sure you opt for Twin Cities professional burst pipe repair to ensure the pipe is repaired properly and so preventative measures can be put in place that will avoid this stressful plumbing emergency from happening again.
Also, having a professional who knows all about the effects of the temperature on pipes in Minneapolis and St. Paul go ahead and prepare your pipes for you will ensure you do not have to experience the headaches that come with burst pipes.
Here is what you need to know about preventative measures:
- Pipes that share walls with the outside and are in attics and crawl spaces are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are openings and cracks that allow the cold air from the outside to flow along the pipes.
- Any pipes that run along walls where television, telephone, or cable lines enter can be susceptible to the cold. Even if the walls are insulated, that doesn’t matter. These holes do need to be plugged and the pipes need to be properly insulated so they do not freeze.
- Know when it is cold enough for pipes to freeze. Your plumber can tell you what the threshold is in Minnesota, considering that pipes and homes tend to freeze at lower temperatures than pipes in southern climates that are not commonly exposed to low temperatures. The rule of thumb is when the temperature drops below 20 degrees and into the teens.
- Water freezes when the heat in the water is moved to subfreezing air. Avoiding this transfer can prevent pipe freezing. In other words, it is best for pipes to not be exposed to subfreezing temperatures. This is something that construction companies are now taking into consideration – they are placing pipes in areas where there is heat, when possible. Proper placement during construction can do a lot. In an existing structure, a plumber may be able to re-route high risk pipes to areas that are more protected. This is not always a practical solution, but it is possible in some cases.
Also, go ahead and let your faucet drip. This will relieve pressure in the line, preventing breakage since breakage does occur from pressure. If you open the faucet and nothing comes out, call your plumber as soon as possible.