The risk of having frozen pipes during the cold months is normally high, especially if you live in Canberra and the surrounding region. Frozen pipes, however, prevent water flow. It can also cause pipe explosions, flooding, structural damage, and even mould.

But there is no need to stress and worry as there are some simple steps you can take to avoid issues from occurring. Today, we are looking at how you can best safeguard your home against frozen pipes this winter.

How Do Frozen Pipes Happen?

Quite simply, when the water in pipes freezes, the pipes expand, which causes extreme pressure to build up. Sometimes, this pressure is enough to cause almost any pipe filled with water to rupture, resulting in hundreds of litres per hour of water pouring into the surrounding area.

While frozen pipes may just seem like an inconvenience in a household, stopping you from doing everyday tasks such as taking a shower and washing the dishes is not as simple as it sounds. The risk of being out of pocket thousands of dollars if major repairs can be much more serious, too.

Pipes can freeze regardless of whether they are made from copper or plastic, so it is important not to get complacent. Your pipes can be more susceptible to freezing if there is a significant drop in temperature, especially if they are exposed and can be frozen in a number of places.

However, it is more commonly found when pipes run against exterior walls or where the water service enters the home through ceiling cavities.

What are the Common Signs?

The best sign of having a risk of frozen pipes is when the temperature falls to zero degrees or less. Sometimes, you can notice frost accumulating on exposed pipes outside the home.

If you cannot see any frost, another way to detect frozen pipes is when if it is extremely cold outside and no water is coming from your faucet.

What to Do

There are preventative measures you can take to minimise the incidence of frozen pipes. Here are a few:

Insulate where you can, even your pipes

One of the best ways to mitigate the risk of frozen pipes is to properly insulate them from cold weather. It can be done by ensuring there is greater insulation in those areas that are more prone to being cold and damp, like basements, ceiling cavities and the garage.

You also have the option of using several products to insulate pipes themselves, like utilizing a 'pipe sleeve' or installing 'heat tape' or 'heat cable' to provide increased protection from freezing. The more insulation used, the better protected your pipes will be.

Seal up cracks and holes

If your pipe insulation has weakened over time due to harsh climates or simply age they may have developed cracks and holes. Even a very small opening can cause pipes to freeze in severe weather. While sealing up damaged insulation can provide some short-term relief, you will need a qualified plumber to come in and replace the damaged insulation.

Keep the heat on

A very simple solution to protect your pipes from freezing is to allow warm water to drip overnight from a tap on the outside wall. Allowing a flow of water through your water system prevents them from freezing. Keep in mind that this approach wastes water (and money) and should only be a very temporary measure.

Don't Procrastinate! Act Quickly!

In the winter months, especially living in an area that is prone to sub-zero-degree temperatures, you really need to get on the front foot to protect your pipes from freezing. If you already detect that you have frozen pipes, you should contact a licensed plumber immediately to complete an inspection, thaw any pipes that are affected and apply any treatments (like replacing pipes if leaking) to prevent them from rupturing and causing greater damage to your property.

Say no to cracked or split pipes and call Level Plumbing Canberra today, where we can foolproof your pipes for the extreme Winter temperatures. Beat the freeze and contact Level Plumbing Canberra at 6188 6088 today for a free consultation.