It is often thought that because the winters in Britain are usually not extremely cold, our pipes will not be affected. Unfortunately, this perception is incorrect. Every year many people are caught out by the very unpleasant and unexpected surprise of a burst water pipe.
The trouble begins already before the water freezes. Before water reaches its freezing point, it expands. There is no space within the pipes to deal with this expansion. As the taps are normally closed, the water cannot find its usual way out. And the pipes cannot expand in the same way the water does. The pressure gets too high and at this point, the pipes will lose their fight and have to give way. They do this by bursting. The water is still liquid as it has not yet turned into ice. So when the pipes burst the water gushes out.
Then there are also occasions where a part of the pipes becomes frozen and an ice blockage develops. The water keeps flowing towards the ice blockages and this causes the pressure to increase to the point that the pipes cannot sustain this. And they burst and let the water finds its way out.
So you need to be prepared for both situations, also when it is not extremely cold. And by being prepared you can avoid damages to your property and possessions, and following that often stress and large repair bills.
What can you do to keep your pipes from bursting?
1. Keep the heating on
By keeping the heating on you prevent the water in the pipes from getting too cold. If the property is warm the frost does not get the chance to cool the water down enough to cause havoc. Also when you are not at home for a longer period, it is paramount to keep your property warm. Most heating systems can be set to a minimum temperature. So when the temperature in the house goes down to below for example 10 degrees, the heating comes on automatically.
2. Repair cracks and holes
Buildings that are in disrepair have a greater risk of burst pipes. The cold finds its way in through cracks and holes. By repairing these you keep the heat in and eliminate drafts.
3. Insulate the property
Extra insulation means the warm air stays inside longer and it also helps to keep the cold outside longer. There are many different ways of applying insulation. For each property, this can be different. Depending on the type of walls and roof you have.
4. Insulate the exposed pipes
There are often many places where pipes are more exposed to the cold. Especially in unheated areas like basements, garages and attics. By using pipe insulation and heating tape you prevent the exposed pipes from getting too cold.
What to do if you have a burst pipe?
Immediately switch off the water supply and call Trades 24/7.
If you are anywhere in the West Midlands and have a burst water pipe or need help with any of the mentioned solutions above, please feel free to call Trades 24/7 on 0121 530 2901 or mobile: 07584 629 544.