When pipe is allowed to freeze completely, ice will break through the pipe. Split or burst pipes will let melted water escape and flood your home. Therefore, avoid pipes to be frozen in winter is definitely necessary. However, if the frozen have already happened, you have to find proper ways to fix the pipes.
In general, plumbers will always recommend Pipe Insulation as your first line of defense against freezing pipes. Foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass are great pipe insulators that can keep exposed pipes warm during the cold months of the year. Wrapped around pipes, electrical powered heating stripes will heat the section of the line vulnerable to freezing. Both insulation and heating stripes will minimize chances of frozen pipes.
Without applying insulation to vulnerable pipes, we should not be too surprised when encountering freezing pipes. Ice inside freezing sections along pipeline will obstruct water flow and cause reductions in water pressure. Dropping water pressure is your warning sign indicating that parts of the pipe are frozen. Pick up on this red flag and repair early the pipe to avoid expensive water related damage to your home.
Most plumbing companies instruct consumers to shut off water supply once detecting freezing pipes. Next, turn on a couple of faucets to let out trapped steam and melting water. Freezing pipes require gentle thawing to melt ice and relieve pipe from extra weight. Applying direct heat on the frozen section may cause more damage than good. Intense and direct heat may turn trapped ice into boiling water that in turn will also split open the pipe due to steam pressure. As a thumb rule, do not let pipes heat up to the extent that they become too hot to touch, and you have to gentle thawing of freezing pipes. For example, you can use a hairdryer to blow dry the frozen section of the pipe. Or you can also direct a space heater towards the frozen section.
In winter, it is necessary to pay attention to your plumbing pipes. Catching early freezing pipes can save you both time and money, otherwise you have to invest in repairing burst pipes and draining water from your home. Experienced plumbers recommend that the simple way to avoid frozen pipes is to insulate exposed pipes and lines running along external walls, which will also spare the time consuming hassle of freezing pipes.