Pipe Freezing Repair in Philadelphia, PA

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As the temperatures drop below freezing, the powerful expansive forces of freezing water can crack and burst through even the toughest of plumbing materials. Among the most common causes of water damage, pipe freezing can occur in both colder and warmer climates, and no property owner is immune to the risks of pipe freezing. Fortunately, pipe freezing is relatively easy to prevent with a clear understanding of the causes, proactive winterization, and a few smart prevention strategies. 

After years of providing emergency frozen pipe repairs across Philadelphia, we’ve seen how devastating even a small pipe freezing can be (and hope to prevent the same for you). In addition to the upfront costs of the burst pipe repair, the flood-like forces following a burst or crack can lead to serious structural damage, mold growth, electrical hazards, and an array of other water-related property issues. Before prepping your home or business this season, a basic understanding of the common causes behind frozen pipe repairs will prepare you to defend your pipes this winter season.

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Pipe freezing repair in Philadelphia.
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How Cold Does It Have To Be for Pipes To Freeze?

Although water freezes at 32° F, it usually needs to be at least 20° F before your pipes freeze. Windchill also plays a factor, which can cause the temperature to suddenly drop by ten or twenty degrees.

This is most common along outside walls or if you have cracks or gaps in your foundation. Since you can’t control the temperature outside, focus on how cold it is inside your home. 

What Pipes Are Most Likely To Freeze?

Any pipe can freeze if it gets cold enough. However, the location of some pipes makes them more likely to freeze. Here are the pipes that are most likely to freeze:

What Is the Minimum Temperature To Keep Pipes From Freezing?

The minimum temperature to keep pipes from freezing is 55° F. However, between 60° F and 68° F is a safer range. This way the air around your pipes is warm enough to keep them from freezing. If you live in a warmer climate, you should keep your above 68° because your pipes are not insulated against the freezing cold.

How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing

Your water pipes can freeze any time the temperature falls below 32° F. However, it usually needs to be around 20° F for your pipes to freeze. The first and easiest step to implement is to raise your thermostat’s temperature. While you may notice a bump in your energy costs each month, maintaining an interior temperature range of at least 64°-68°F is the most effective way to prevent frozen pipes come wintertime in Philadelphia.

Even with your thermostat set appropriately, pipes along exterior walls, in the attic, and the garage are exposed to increased risk of pipe freezing in Bucks County, PA. If any of your water lines are not insulated, install property-wide pipe insulation foam as soon as possible. Insulation foam is affordable, easy to install, and should be wrapped around the entirety of any accessible piping. While this is generally done when your plumbing is first installed, if the materials have aged or the insulation was damaged during a storm or another property incident, you must have your pipe’s insulation inspected and replaced if necessary.

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Common Causes of Pipe Freezing in Philadelphia

So, what can you do to avoid becoming a burst-pipe repair statistic even with sub-zero temperatures in the forecast?

Insulate Your Pipes

The best way to keep your pipes from freezing is to wrap them in foam sheath insulation. Cover any visible water pipes, especially in garages, basements, and along outside walls. You can get this in both rolls and pre-cut sections at most home improvement stores for around 50¢ per foot.

If you cannot see your pipes, you may need whole-house insulation instead. Not only does this keep out cold air during the winter, but it will keep your home cooler in the summer too. 

Shut off Spigots and Sprinklers

If you have a water spigot outside your home, you should shut it off and drain the water. Most spigots have a shut-off valve inside your home, so look in your basement or utility room.

Once the water is off, turn on the spigot to drain the pipe. For added protection, install a foam insulation cover over the faucet to block out cold air as well.

Do the same if you have an in-ground sprinkler system. Turn off the water and then run your sprinklers until the water stops. If you have the system on a timer, remember to shut that off too. 

Keep Garage Doors Closed and Heat the Area

Another way to keep pipes from freezing is to keep your garage door closed. This is especially important at night when it is the coldest time. You should also add insulation to the door itself to keep your garage warmer.

If the weather is extremely cold, you also need to heat your garage. Avoid using propane burners, as they create toxic gases that can suffocate you. It’s much safer to use electric heaters. Point the heater towards walls with water pipes in them to keep them from freezing. 

Open Under-Sink Cabinets

Cabinets below sinks are another place where pipes can freeze, especially when they are on an outside wall. Even in heated rooms, the cabinet doors will hold in cold air and block out the heat.

Opening the cabinet doors will help warm air circulate and keep the pipes from freezing. You should open our cabinets any time it’s extremely cold, but it’s especially important at night when temperatures are the lowest.

If it’s colder than 0° F out, you should use a space heater as well. Keep the heater four to five feet away and direct the airflow inside the cabinet. 

Leave Your Faucets Running

Another way to keep pipes from freezing is to leave your faucets running. Even just a slow trickle is enough to keep them from freezing.

While you can do this at any time, you should run your faucets when it’s colder than 0° F outside. Also, hot water pipes are just as likely to freeze as cold water lines.

If your faucet has two handles, make sure that you open them both. For single-handle faucets, set it to the center so both hot and cold water flow. 

Plan Before Going on Vacation

If you are going on vacation, you should plan for cold weather even if it isn’t in the forecast. Before you leave, set your thermostat between 64° F and 68° F and open up under-sink cabinets.

You should ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to check on your home, too. Have them walk through your home at least once a day or even have them stay overnight to keep your pipes from freezing. 

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Water damage after a burst pipe? Call 1-888-992-8371 now for a free quote on water cleanup and repair.

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Even with the best prevention strategies and constant vigilance, accidents still happen. Our experts in Philadelphia provide all-inclusive assistance with water damage restorations and arrive at every frozen pipe burst with the skills and experience to resolve serious water issues with urgency. We stop the source of the leak, fix the piping, and manage flood-like situations with advanced extraction, drying, and cost-effective repair solutions to restore your property to its like-new condition.

Get in touch with our experts for a free estimate, or access our responsive team for 24/7 emergency service in Philadelphia day or night.

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