Frozen Pipes and Flooding Danger

Frozen Pipes and Flooding Danger
Even when water is frozen, there are still plenty of ways it can be dangerous. In these days of severe winter weather, frozen pipes and flooding danger can be a serious threat to both your home and your loved ones. Read on to learn more about this topic.

Why Worry About Frozen Pipes and Flooding Danger?

With freezing temperatures and powerful winter storms, it is easy for the water inside your plumbing systems to become frozen. In serious instances, frozen pipes and flooding danger go hand-in-hand.

Once the temperature drops below 32 degrees, the water will freeze and expand within your pipes. This can place unexpected pressure on pipes, causing them to crack or leak. This could result in an annoying drip, or possibly severe flooding.

A leaking pipe can cause major damage to a home. If not stopped quickly enough, it could fill your entire basement with water. This can easily destroy valuable property, family keepsakes and anything else in vicinity of the water. To make matters worse, it can also damage the structure of the home, leading to mold and mildew.

Besides a plumber, these floods require costly repairs and rebuilding. To make matters worse, you might not have access to water until the damage is repaired. This can make a home uninhabitable for days or even weeks.

Drowning Danger from Flooding

As we mentioned above, the cracked pipe could simply produce a slow trickling drip. This is still a concern that needs to be handled as quickly as possible. That said, frozen pipes and flooding danger are a much larger concern.

Water can rush into a room quickly and without warning. For homes with young children and elderly members of the family, this can quickly become a serious drowning risk. Seniors might not be able to get up the stairs fast enough. Slipping can also be quite common for older folks.

As for young children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that drowning is the top cause of death for children aged four and younger. A sudden flood could put a frightened child in danger of injury or even worse.

Don’t forget your pets either. If a pet is trapped in a room that is rapidly filling with water, it could quickly become quite dangerous.

Watching for Trouble Areas

When it comes to frozen pipes, there are some that are most in need of care. These often include pipes that are outdoors and left exposed to the elements. These can include garden hoses, swimming pool supply lines, sprinkler systems and more. Additionally, any pipes that run up exterior walls of the building could be at risk.

Something else to watch is the water supply pipes, which may be located in unheated places. The basement of many homes can become quite frigid, so this is a good place to keep a lookout.

Prevention Tips

Now that you know some potential trouble areas, it is time for preventative measures. Frozen pipes and flooding danger cannot always be stopped, but there are some steps a homeowner can take to limit risk.

For one, keep your garage doors closed if there are any pipes inside. It’ll keep the temperature higher, which can help prevent freezing. During times when it is particularly cold, consider letting the cold water drip from a faucet connected to exposed pipes. This running water, even though it is cold, can help prevent the pipes from freezing.

At night, keep the thermostat set to the same temperature as during the day. This could add cost to your heating bill, but it should prevent freezing during the colder nights. Keeping with this idea, don’t turn off your heat if you are traveling for a few days. Keeping your thermostat set to about 55 degrees or higher should help to prevent frozen pipes.

For more information, the American Red Cross has an excellent guide for this issue. Finally, contact a professional to help find any troublesome areas of your home before danger strikes.