Martens Minute

How to prevent frozen pipes

December 5, 2022

Frozen pipes are among the most dangerous plumbing emergencies. Not only are they challenging to fix, but they can also be extremely costly. So as temperatures continue to dip in Wisconsin, it’s more important than ever to ensure you don’t make this pricey mistake. Martens Plumbing & Heating is here to help you prevent frozen pipes in your home. In the meantime, don’t forget that our experts are happy to examine your plumbing if you’re unsure whether you’re at risk. Call us today.

What Causes Frozen Pipes?

Your home’s pipes will freeze if standing water is inside them when temperatures plunge. This is because water expands when it freezes. If this happens, it creates excess pressure on the pipes, causing problems from small cracks to major bursts. Identifying and fixing this damage can be both complicated and expensive, so it’s best to do everything you can to avoid it.

Frozen pipes most commonly occur when you forget to turn off your home water supply when outdoor temperatures are freezing. For example, you leave for a weekend and turn off your heat to save money on energy while you’re away. You might not think it matters because no one is home, but it actually matters quite a bit!

What Happens if Pipes Freeze?

If your pipes freeze and crack or burst, you can face serious water damage to your property. The frozen water that was trapped in the pipes will thaw once exposed to the warmer temperature inside your home. If you don’t catch it right away, it can lead to eventual mold or mildew growth—another complex and costly repair.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

There are a few things you can do to prevent frozen pipes. First, if you will be gone for longer than a day, be sure to turn off your main water supply. This will ensure that there’s no standing water in the pipes that’s at risk of freezing.

Second, check that any pipes running along the exterior walls are protected with insulation. If not, have these pipes or entire walls insulated if possible. This will help boost your home’s energy efficiency as well.

You can also reduce the amount of water leading to these pipes to the lightest trickle possible. Even the smallest amount of running water can decrease the chances of pipes freezing.

More Information on Home Winterization

If you need help with a burst pipe or are just looking for professional advice on how to avoid this problem in the winter, contact Martens Plumbing today. We can check over your home plumbing and help you identify areas that could be of concern.