Winters in Minnesota can be brutal. Your Minneapolis home’s plumbing can be especially vulnerable in the winter. Frozen and burst pipes are one of the most common types of property damage during the winter and can result in thousands of dollars of repairs. Water damage from a burst pipe can be extensive, so it’s definitely something you want to avoid!
What Causes Burst Pipes During the Winter
Burst pipes are common in the winter, but why? We know that water expands when it’s frozen. When a pipe containing idle water freezes, the water expands and puts tremendous pressure on the pipe. Whether the pipe is plastic or metal, eventually it won’t be able to contain the pressure, and the pipe will burst.
Some factors make certain pipes especially vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Those factors include:
- Pipes in unheated areas, such as under bathroom cabinets and in basements, kitchens or crawl spaces.
- Exposed pipes with little or no insulation against the cold.
- Outdoor pipes such as hose faucets, water sprinkler lines and lines to swimming pools.
Tips to Protect Your Pipes During the Winter
There are several tips and tricks you can follow to help protect your Minneapolis home’s pipes this winter. Follow these recommendations to avoid having to deal with a burst pipe and water damage:
- Be sure to keep your garage doors closed if there are exposed pipes or water lines in your garage.
- Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets so that pipes are exposed to the warm air in your home.
- Completely drain your swimming pool and sprinkler system lines. Do NOT put antifreeze into the lines! Antifreeze will not prevent a burst pipe, and it is poisonous and harmful to the environment.
- Let water drip from outdoor faucets or any other faucet with exposed plumbing. Allowing the water to flow slowly through the pipes will help prevent freezing.
- If you are going on vacation or leaving your home for an extended period, don’t turn the heat completely off in your home during freezing weather. The Red Cross recommends that you don’t turn the thermostat lower than 55° F.
What to Do If a Frozen Pipe Bursts in Your Home
If a frozen pipe has burst in your home or on your property, it’s important to take action immediately to minimize the damage and costs. If your home is in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie or Maple Grove, contact Northern’s One Hour Heating and Air immediately. Our team of licensed plumbers and home maintenance professionals are committed to providing the best customer service possible at an affordable price.
Call Northern's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® today at (763) 284-8639. We’ll assess the damage and provide a free and no-hassle quote.