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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Pipes Freeze

12/11/2023 (Permalink)

If your pipes are exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended duration, the risk of water freezing and causing significant damage to your home becomes a concern. Fortunately, there are preventive measures you can take.

The freezing of pipes typically occurs due to two main factors:

Pipes installed in unheated spaces without sufficient protection.

Inadequate heating in the area where the freezing occurs.

Various types of pipes, including domestic water piping, HVAC heating and cooling piping, and sprinkler piping, are susceptible to freezing if left in cold and unprotected conditions. Both plastic and metal pipes can rupture when frozen, and even a minor crack in a burst pipe has the potential to release substantial amounts of water, depending on the pipe's size.

But why do pipes burst during freezing temperatures? When water freezes, it expands, exerting pressure against the pipe wall and pressurizing the water trapped between the ice and a closed valve or fixture. As freezing and expansion continue inside the pipe, the trapped water's pressure increases, causing the pipe to burst, much like a can of soda bursts in the freezer.

Common areas prone to frozen pipes include outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, fire sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior spaces such as basements, crawlspaces, attics, garages, bathroom sink cabinets, and kitchen cabinets. Pipes located along exterior walls with inadequate insulation, gaps in the insulation, or improperly installed building wrap are particularly vulnerable to freezing. Addressing these potential issues promptly is advisable. For further information, you can consult the International Plumbing Code by clicking here.

SERVPRO®'s commitment goes beyond a mere slogan; it's embodied in the mantra "We're Faster To Any Size Disaster." Their dedication is evident with round-the-clock technicians ready to respond promptly. Residents facing home water damage are urged to reach out to SERVPRO without hesitation.

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