Washington weather can be harsh. Though we do not experience the tundra-like weather of other regions, the cold is enough to have an effect on various parts of your home. A huge plumbing issue that occurs in cold weather is frozen pipes. Once the warm weather wanes and it starts becoming chilly again, it is important to understand frozen pipes and how to identify them.
The Danger of Frozen Pipes
The immediate risk of frozen pipes is that it could prevent you from having running water. This impacts numerous activities that everyone does everyday. A more expensive danger of frozen pipes is a pipe bursting. Once the water inside pipes freezes, it will put intense pressure on the outside of the pipe, eventually leading to it bursting. A burst pipe can flood portions of your home or yard.
Depending on the location, certain pipes in your home are more likely to freeze than others. Pipes that are in the exterior walls of your home have less protection from cold weather, therefore making them more likely to freeze. Additionally, pipes located in attics and basements often have less access to heat that is present in the rest of the house and will freeze sooner than pipes inside the main rooms.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
Though they are difficult to identify for certain, there are signs that may indicate that you may have a frozen pipe. If it is cold outside, you should always remain aware of the possibility of pipes freezing. Consider improving the insulation around vulnerable pipes.
A clear sign of a frozen pipe occurs when you can see frost on the pipe. However, this is only possible with visible pipes, which only accounts for a small percentage of the pipes used on your property. If you notice frost on a pipe, call a professional immediately and avoid turning on the faucet.
One of the symptoms of frozen pipes is a lack of running water. If any of your faucets are not producing any water, there is a chance that the pipe could be frozen. Ccall a professional to take a closer look.
Another sign of a frozen pipe is if you smell strange odors in your home. If a pipe is frozen and blocked, smells will run back up the pipe into your home, as opposed to being released outside.