One of the biggest threats to your home during the winter season is a frozen pipe. This problem occurs during periods of extreme cold and can result in severe water damage as frozen pipes place excess pressure on your plumbing system, increasing the likelihood of bursting.

In this blog post, the plumbing professionals at Preferred Home Services share special tips and prevention methods that can help minimize the risk of frozen pipes in your South Carolina home this winter.

Understanding the Risk

When the weather gets cold in the winter, your pipes may be at higher risk of freezing. Any time the temperature falls below 32º F for an extended period, your exposed pipes can become prone to freezing.

Thankfully, the South Carolina climate rarely falls below freezing, with temperatures falling between 47 degrees and 52 degrees F on an average winter day. However, cold snaps can still sneak up on unsuspecting homeowners, so it’s important to be prepared and understand what you can do to keep this problem from impacting your plumbing performance.

Identifying Vulnerable Areas in Your Home

When it comes to frozen pipes, certain fixtures in your home may be more vulnerable than others. In general, any pipes that are exposed or located in unheated interior spaces — such as basements, attics, crawl spaces, or garages — may be at the highest risk of freezing during the winter.

As you prepare your home for the winter season, it’s important to be aware of where these vulnerable piping systems exist so you can address them quickly when you suspect possible freezing. It’s also critical that you ensure your pipes are adequately insulated so that you can avoid the issue altogether.

Practical Tips for Prevention

Along with insulating any exposed piping, there are several other prevention methods you can employ to ensure your pipes remain unscathed by the winter weather:

  • Address Air Leaks: In addition to pipe insulation, ensure your windows and doors are well-insulated to protect against unwanted air leaks and drafts sneaking their way into your home.
  • Set Your Thermostat: Keep your thermostat set to a consistent temperature, ensuring that it never falls below 55 degrees, especially if you plan to leave the home for an extended holiday.
  • Drip Your Faucets: When the forecast calls for particularly cold weather overnight, leave your faucets on a slow, steady drip to keep your pipes from freezing and avoid excess pressure buildup.
  • Drain Outdoor Lines: Before the winter hits, be sure to drain the water from your outdoor lines to prevent hose bibbs and outdoor fixtures from freezing in the cold.

Emergency Measures if Pipes Freeze

If you’ve taken all the necessary precautions but still experience a frozen pipe, it’s important to act fast so you can prevent extensive damage to your system. The moment you suspect a frozen pipe in your home shut off the main water supply valve to the affected pipe or fixture.

Next, attempt to locate the frozen pipe and thaw it out using either a blow dryer or a space heater. Avoid using open flames or high heat, as these can be dangerous and lead to further damage. Be sure to contact a professional plumber to schedule frozen pipe repair and get your system back up and running quickly.

Long-Term Solutions & Preparations

While the aforementioned prevention tips can help you avoid frozen pipes, there are several other long-term solutions that you can use to keep this problem at bay. These include:

  • Pipe Insulation: We can’t overstate the importance of ensuring exposed pipes remain well-insulated during the winter.
  • Pipe Heat Cables: Along with insulation, consider installing pipe heat cables that are thermostat-controlled.
  • Weather Stripping: Be sure to weather strip and caulk around crawl space doors and basement windows to keep cold air from infiltrating your space.
  • Storm Windows: Install storm windows over your basement windows or consider a window replacement to upgrade to more energy-efficient models.

Fix Your Frozen Pipes With Preferred Home Services

If frozen pipes still find their way into your plumbing system this season, don’t worry — Preferred Home Services is here to help set the problem straight in no time. Offering emergency same-day frozen pipe repair to families throughout Greenville and the surrounding region, our expert plumbers are committed to your convenience, delivering a high level of passion and care to every customer we have the honor to serve.

Book your frozen pipe repair appointment in Greenville today by calling us at (864) 206-5620 now!