What Causes Pipes to Burst: Frozen Pipes and Tips for Prevention

When temperatures drop during winter months, the pipes in your home have the potential to freeze and then burst, resulting in serious damage. Burst pipes can spew as much as 250 gallons of water in a day, creating flooding, structural damage, and costly repairs.

Burst pipes are the result of frozen pipes- more specifically, from the water pressure that occurs between an ice blockage and a closed faucet when a pipe freezes. The goal is to keep your pipes from freezing in the first place so they won’t be at risk to burst.

Keeping Pipes from Freezing

Freezing temperatures, especially during cold snaps and when temperatures drop quickly, can cause a pipe to freeze. Pipes on outside walls, uninsulated pipes, and those exposed to cold air through undetected holes and cracks are the most vulnerable. Poor insulation and a thermostat that is set too low in a home can also play a role. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to keep your pipes from freezing, bursting, and causing major damage to your home.

  1. Insulate pipes in attics, crawlspaces, and near outside walls.
  2. Consider using heating tape around pipes. Expert Gillece Plumbers can install electrical heat tape around pipes to keep them from freezing.
  3. Open cabinet doors to let the heat in your home reach pipes under sinks, especially ones near exterior walls.
  4. Let water drip from faucets when temperatures drop, which can help to prevent bursting by relieving the pressure that otherwise builds between a closed faucet and ice blockage.
  5. Check for holes and cracks around pipes that could expose them to cold air and wind.
  6. Keep the thermostat set at an appropriate temperature throughout the day and night, including when you are away from home.

Gillece Plumbers can help prepare your pipes for the winter and before subfreezing temperatures arrive. If you run into a plumbing emergency, remember, we’re here 24/7, 365 days a year. Call Gillece!