What Can Happen When Your Pipes Freeze?

What Can Happen When Your Pipes Freeze?

Winter is here and that means frigid temperatures will soon be descending upon our homes, forcing homeowners to think of one of the biggest threats winter can pose. No, we’re not talking about the possibility of snow or ice weighing heavily on your roof, we’re talking about the possibility of the water in your plumbing freezing. This is a particularly disastrous occurrence for homeowners, and we’ll explain why here.

Expansion

When water freezes, it expands. This is a natural force, but one that’s extremely difficult for plumbing to handle. When water expands in a confined space, it builds up pressure. Because liquids cannot be easily compressed, the water in your plumbing has nowhere to go but outward, and that means the only thing holding it in is your pipes themselves. If this pressure gets too great, your pipes will bend, expand, and eventually crack. Once the water in your pipes melts, this crack could lead to a leak that’s anywhere from a slow drip to a massive, catastrophic outpour.

Massive, Rapid Flooding

There’s often little to no warning about one of these cracks developing. On one hand you may be able to find out when your pipes have frozen, but this may be the only indication that you might be about to experience a problem. Once the ice in your pipes gives way and allows water to start flowing freely again, you could almost immediately have a torrent of water to pour out of your pipes and into your home. This could occur almost anywhere, including inside your walls where the pipes are almost impossible to access quickly without tearing the wall apart.

Mold & Mildew

In addition to the flood damage which can wreak havoc on your walls, home structure, flooring, and even some of your prized possessions and furniture, flood damage almost always leads to mold growth throughout the impacted area. It’s difficult to dry a flooded area suitably in an amount of time needed to prevent mold growth, so you almost always need to have a mold remediation service come in and clean out the affected area. However, even small leaks can lead to mold growth, especially if they’re not detected immediately and the moisture has time to settle. Mold can cause serious health concerns, especially toxic black mold which can lead to major illnesses if you breathe in too many spores.

If you suspect your pipes may be prone to freezing or bursting, it’s strongly advised you have them inspected by a Bartlett plumber for any potential signs of weakness or freezing vulnerability. Call Smith’s Plumbing Services at (901) 290-1110! if you need a repair service this winter!
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