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How the Freeze and Thaw Cycle Affects Your Plumbing

Because the temperatures and weather in our area can fluctuate, sometimes wildly during this time of year, it’s crucial to understand what these conditions can do to the plumbing in your home, and what you can do about it.

Known as the freeze and thaw cycle, this continual cooling and warming action occurs when temperatures rise in the daytime but then dip back down below freezing at night. While the occasional mild day can be a welcome wintertime relief for most people, it can damage elements of your home, including your concrete, foundation, and possibly most of all, your plumbing.

At Squeaks Plumbing & Heating, we understand the damage that freeze-thaw cycles can cause Because the temperatures and weather in our area can fluctuate — sometimes wildly — during this time of year, it’s crucial to understand what these conditions can do to the plumbing in your home, and what you can do about it.

 

The Big Chill

So you already know that severe cold temperatures can cause your pipes to freeze. But it’s not actually frozen pipes that you need to worry about — it’s what happens to the pipes when they unfreeze that’s the real cause for concern. As the water freezes, it expands and causes pressure inside the pipes, causing them to burst, and once they thaw out, you’ll be left with a messy and watery situation that includes not only water damage, but broken pipes that will need to be repaired or replaced.

 

The Quick Fix for a Frozen Pipe

If your pipe is frozen but hasn’t yet burst, then you need to turn on the faucet it connects to so you can relieve the pressure that has built up inside it. Next, working down from the faucet to the frozen section of your plumbing, try to gently thaw the pipe. This can be done by placing hot compresses made from old towels or sheets that have been moistened with hot water. Additionally, place an infrared lamp or space heater as close to the affected area as possible. NEVER use an open flame around your plumbing.

 

Battling the Bust

If your pipes have busted, then you need to act quickly. First, turn off your main water valve immediately to mediate further damage to your property. Next, switch off any electricity that’s running to the water-logged area. Now you need to contact the plumbing professionals at Squeaks Plumbing & Heating as soon as possible.

For especially severe burst pipe scenarios, you may even require the services of a water damage remediation company. While you’re waiting for the pros to arrive, it’s a good idea to start removing water and any possessions that have been affected by the water to minimize possible mold growth.

 

If your pipes are experiencing the freeze and thaw cycle, don’t wait for disaster to strike before you do something — act now by calling our team of plumbing pros. To schedule a consultation, contact us today at 303-872-8406.