Are you worried about frozen plumbing pipes this winter? As temperatures start to dip below freezing, you could be more susceptible to freezing and bursting pipes, especially if your pipes are already damaged or cracked or nearing the end of their useful lives. Lining your pipes with an epoxy liner or coating can restore the structural integrity of your plumbing pipes and provide you with valuable peace of mind this winter, so you can stop worrying about frozen plumbing pipes.

How Plumbing Pipes Freeze

When the temperatures outside dip below freezing, the pipes running along your exterior walls and in areas that are not heated are more prone to freezing. As the ice forms inside your pipes, it seals the pipe, preventing water from flowing. Pressure then builds up inside the pipe from the ice blockage to the nearest fixture. This increased pressure can cause your pipe to burst, creating leaks and expensive water damage.

If you’re thinking, wait, I thought the water burst the pipe, you’re not alone. Many people believe the expanding pressure caused by the frozen water bursts the pipe. In truth, it’s the air pressure from the blockage to the fixture that bursts the pipe. That’s why you’re told to drip your faucets when the temperature drops below 32 degrees.

How to Find Pipes that Are Most Prone to Freezing

In order to find the pipes that are most likely to freeze this winter, it may be a good idea to walk around your building, both inside and outside. Any pipes located along exterior walls are more prone to freezing. This means that if you have bathrooms, kitchens, and miscellaneous pipes running along the outside walls or butting up against those walls, they may freeze. You may also want to walk through your basement and open the doors of utility and maintenance closets that are unheated. Are there any pipes along those walls? If there are, you may want to leave the doors to those rooms open so that they get a little bit of heat. Once you’ve identified your most at-risk pipes, you can take steps to ensure they do not freeze and burst.

The Hazards of a Cracked Frozen Plumbing Pipe

If the plumbing pipe that freezes is cracked or the walls of the pipe have been compromised due to excessive corrosion, it will burst with less pressure, putting your building at risk for mold and mildew damage. Your residents will also be without water for the duration of the repair. Not to mention, if the frozen plumbing pipe is hidden behind a wall or in an area of your basement that is less traversed, you may not catch the pipe break in a timely manner. This can lead to high water bills, mold damage, and low water pressure.

Preventing Frozen Plumbing Pipes and Water Damage

Since frozen plumbing pipes can cause extensive damage and leave your residents without water, it’s important to take steps to ensure your pipes do not freeze, and this includes the hose bibs that may be on the outside of your building. For hose bibs, it’s important to purchase and install frost-free hose bibs. For water lines that you can reach, it’s important to put pipe insulation around them and install heat tape. You can also install heat tape on the pipes leading to sinks and other water fixtures if there is an outlet nearby. If the pipes are located in cabinets or unheated rooms, consider opening the doors to allow heat into the unheated areas.

Of course, it’s important to always drip the faucets along the exterior walls when the temperatures drop below freezing. This is because in excessively low temperatures heat tape and insulation may not be enough to stop the pipe from freezing. However, you can make it less likely that the pipe will burst by dripping the faucet and alleviating any built-up air pressure in the line.

In-Place Pipe Restoration Can Rehabilitate Your Plumbing Pipes

The truth is that older pipes are more prone to bursting if they encounter an ice blockage. This is because the pipe walls just aren’t as strong as they were when the pipes were first installed. In order to prevent weakened pipes from freezing and bursting, you may want to consider in-place pipe restoration. This involves cleaning your plumbing pipes and inserting an epoxy saturated liner or coating into your pipes, which helps seal small leaks and cracks. The process does not involve removing large sections of finishes, like flooring and drywall. Instead, the process can be performed using a pipe access point or a small hole can be cut in order to access the damaged pipe. This is far less costly than having a plumber come out and completely remove and replace the offending plumbing pipe. It’s also faster than a traditional pipe replacement, which means water service can be restored quickly once the plumbing pipes have been lined and the liners have cured.

Benefits of In-Place Pipe Restoration

In-Place pipe restoration provides more benefits than just helping you lessen the risk of burst pipes.

  • Less Expensive Than Pipe Replacement
  • Faster Install Process Than a Traditional Pipe Replacement
  • Can Be Used for All Plumbing Pipes, Including Potable Water, Drain and Sewer Lines
  • Seals Small Leaks and Holes
  • Restores Structural Integrity in Drain Lines
  • Extends the Useful Life of Your Existing Plumbing Pipes
  • Comes with a Ten Year Warranty

In-Place Pipe Restoration with NuFlow, Serving Chicago

When it comes to ensuring that your plumbing system is ready for winter and every other day of the year, pipelining may be the answer. In-Place and pull-in-place (PIP) pipelining can help restore your plumbing pipes, seal existing cracks and leaks and extend the existing life of your current plumbing pipes without the mess, time, and expense of a traditional pipe replacement. We can even give you tips on how to winterize your pipes, so you can stop asking – Are my plumbing pipes frozen?

To learn more about pipe lining or to schedule a building pipe assessmentcall us at 815-790-9000.