Stopping Pipes from Freezing during Winter

24 December 2020

Throughout the cold winter spells, preventing frozen pipes is important for many property owners across the country. If the water inside the pipes is stationary, it is likely to freeze when the temperature drops and prevent running water from accessing your property. The common signs of pipes freezing in winter are no water or just a trickle when the tap is turned on or you may even notice a frosty appearance on an area of an exposed pipe. The bad news is that pipes freezing in winter leaves them at risk of bursting and causing significant damage, so here are our 3 recommendations for preventing frozen pipes in the first place:

1. Keep the water flowing

Regularly turning on the taps throughout your home will keep the system from getting too cold and avoid a build-up of ice. Outdoor pipes are particularly at risk of freezing so ensuring you are taking measures to prevent frozen water pipes during particularly cold spells is advisable.

2. Insulate any susceptible areas

Pipe sponge coverings are a key way of stopping pipes from freezing without any expensive processes. These are available at most DIY stores and can usually be easily applied by property owners themselves. Identifying any common areas of concern, such as exposed outdoor pipes, will allow you to keep the area insulated to reduce the chance of pipes freezing in winter.

3. Prepare when leaving the property

We commonly see issues when people go on holiday or are leaving their workplace over the festive period, returning to their property to find frozen water pipes. One option for preventing frozen pipes is draining the water system to ensure that there is no water left sitting in the pipes, or alternatively if you have indoor pipes, then setting the thermostat to turn onto a low temperate during intervals will keep the property from getting too cold.

Dealing with frozen water pipes

If you have found yourself in the unfortunate scenario of facing frozen water pipes or worse, a burst water pipe, here are the recommended steps to take.

If your pipe is frozen and you are certain it has not burst, you can try to thaw out the pipe yourself. When stopping pipes from freezing, ensure you keep the thawing process slow to avoid further issues. Use warm water, soaked towels or a fan heater on a low setting to gently warm the area and melt the ice.

Alternatively, if you are dealing with a burst water pipe, it is important to turn of the water supply instantly to reduce the risk of further flooding. Once the water flow has stopped, you will need to call out an expert in leak detection straight away. At Hamblin Watermains, our team of experts are trained to deal with leaks and carry out the necessary repairs as efficiently as possible following leak detection in Swindon, Reading and across the South of England.