Frozen pipes can add a new level of misery to very cold snaps in the ArkLaMiss. In our area, hard freezes aren’t very frequent; however, our homes are also not quite as prepared them when compared to our northerly neighbors.
In our area, we start paying closer attention to threatened pipes when temperatures drop well below freezing (less than 25°). While overnight lows are an important measuring stick, it’s also good to note how much time you’ll spend below freezing. A longer time below 32° means a higher threat to exposed pipes.
Pipes in exterior walls are most threatened by frigid temperatures. As temperatures drop below freezing, the water inside pipes freezes, then expands. As the water/ice expands, pipes will eventually burst.
Some pipes will freeze faster than others. There are several factors that could lead to a faster freezing time, including direct exposure to sub-freezing temperatures and/or poor wall insulation.
Here are some things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing in your home:
- Install “pipe sleeves” to provide additional insulation to exterior pipes and/or faucets
- Keep heat sources on
- If you’re not at home, keep your home’s temperature warmer than 55° (always use safe, approved heat sources)
- Open cabinets to pipes on outdoor walls, further exposing them to home warmth
- Allow water to drip from faucets
- Cover all outdoor spigots with an insulated protector
- Remove, drain, and store any outdoor hoses
If you suspect a pipe has burst in/around your home, contact a licensed plumber as soon as possible.