As seasons change, one of the victims can be pipes -- particularly in the winter, as the freezing temperatures cause the water inside the pipes to turn to ice. The freezing process causes water to expand, and the effects on pipes can be devastating. The plumbing and interior repair bills that can result from burst pipes can be considerable -- much more than the cost of weatherproofing. Instead, read this article to find out some information about how to prepare your pipes for extreme weather.
If you have exposed pipes, you want to make sure they are properly insulated. Pay a visit to your home improvement retailer and get the right material. Choose waterproof insulating materials so that rain, sleet or snow cannot compromise the work of the insulation. Without insulation, it will not take long for freezing temperatures to bring the liquid inside the pipes down to that frigid level as well.
One way to ensure that outside pipes do not fall below the freezing point is to bury them when you are making your initial plans for your building. Even though the ground may feel cold when you're walking on it, buried pipes are not exposed to the open air, which is the main source of cooling. Use the heat that is inside the earth to keep your pipes above freezing. This will help spare you the problem of burst pipes.
In the wintertime, you always need to have a source of heat for your pipes. Even if your pipes are all inside, if the wall in which they rest is not sufficiently insulated, freezing can still occur. Instead of having your pipes freeze in this way, heat them. This can range from a space heater, in extreme outdoor conditions, to the simple task of opening the doors beneath your sinks to allow the heated air from the rooms to get to the pipes. If that's not going to be enough, turn your hot water on and let the spigots drip slowly. This will raise your gas and water bills slightly, but you'll still save a lot of money in comparison to what it would have cost to have the pipes repaired.
If you want maximum performance from your pipes all year round, you'll want to make sure that they stay clean, so that your water and waste water can flow freely. You'll want to make sure that you only flush items that are supposed to go down the toilet, such as toilet paper. If you put other items down the toilet, or down the drain, that can lead to blockages. When things start to freeze, then you'll have less room to work with if your pipes already have junk in them.
Weatherproofing does include ensuring that your pipes do not freeze. However, it means a lot more than that as well. Use the preventive measures that appear in this article to keep your pipes running year round. If you don't, bad things can happen quickly.
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