Frozen pipes are standard in winter, and with the freezing temperatures this year, many homeowners are concerned about their pipes possibly freezing. They are often caused by the water supply getting colder than other parts of your home. This means that moisture in the air will condense on cold water pipes and freeze them solid. If this happens, you must replace the pipe and any affected fittings, such as faucets.
1. No Water
Lack of water is the most obvious sign that your pipes may be frozen. When this happens, the outside of your pipes will become gummy and look like some fungus has attacked them. If you find the water is not flowing, this is a sign that cold water pipes may be frozen. You will need to move to the next step as soon as possible to avoid more severe damage to your pipes.
2. Smells Coming from the Drain
Another sign that your pipes have frozen is a smell from the drains. A strong smell is usually accompanied by small amounts of water in the gutter, so if you notice this smell and no water, bare in mind that your pipes may be frozen. Turn on as many hot taps as possible and wait for the scent to disappear. You can switch off the hot fixtures and open windows to rid your home of any lingering odors. You should also be aware of any odors coming from your drain, as it could mean a pipe is blocked and will have to be unblocked by a professional plumber.
3. Water Damage
Water damage is the most severe and expensive form of damage that cold water pipes can cause. As soon as you notice a smell from your drains, you need to unblock them immediately before proceeding further. A water damage restoration checklist is a tool used to keep track of the necessary steps that you should take to address a water problem. Water damage from frozen pipes can be remedied by cleaning out any debris in your pipes and replacing any damaged fittings. There will be black streaks on the walls from the pipe thawing and water flowing down the walls and across the floor.
4. Visible Frost
If water has gotten into your wall cavity or floorboards, you will see frost or ice outside your home. This is a sign that the water in your pipes has frozen and begun to expand. If you have this type of damage, you can easily spot it because there will be frost or ice outside your building. You can use a screwdriver to chip away at this and avoid damaging any walls inside your house. It is a good idea to keep an eye on your pipes to see if they are freezing. If you have ever seen frost inside your windows, you will know that it is a lot like this in appearance.
The most important thing to remember about frozen pipes is that they can be prevented by heating the water in your pipes. If you have a radiator near the area where your water pipes are, allow the heat from this radiator to reach as far as possible.