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Preventing frozen water pipes

While it doesn’t get to freezing temperatures in Oklahoma City as often as areas in the north east, we see it enough to know that frozen pipes might be a concern. Often this issue creeps up on you while you’re sleeping, then when you go to turn on a faucet… bam… no water.

More dreadful is to figure out that a major leak is pouring water inside your kitchen, bath, basement or maybe attic! Alex’s Construction Service in Oklahoma City has seen anything from a straightforward leak, up to major flood damage. With all the escalating costs of insurance, it becomes an important topic for Oklahoma City residents to consider.

Here are several ideas regarding how to prevent frozen water pipes in your Oklahoma City home:

Start with a thorough Inspection

With Oklahoma City being a city that's always seemingly under construction we've got quite a variety of homes differing in age, location and structure. Naturally older homes with older plumbing will undoubtedly be more prone to frozen pipes than a modern home. Because of this an inspection on the exposed pipes in your house is a very good place to start. When making your inspection, be careful as pipes might be hot and have jagged edges especially near the connections. Search for signs of discoloration and buildup of sediments that may include a (white, green and/or black) chalky feel and appearance to them. (more likely for galvanized pipes)

Take the extra time to completely track all pipes throughout the home, many older Oklahoma City homes have water pipes that may go up and through the attic to access some other part of the home. With many of these pipes especially, if not properly insulated, are very susceptible to cold conditions. If you notice any pipes that you feel could be subject to bursting or need to inspect pipes which are inaccessible; you'll want to call contact a certified plumber for assistance.


Call Alex's Construction Company for a Free quote on Home Improvement Services in the Oklahoma City Area - 405-496-0161

Temperature control

If all your water pipes are actually in good structural condition then temperature control is a good way to keep your water pipes from freezing. Ensuring that the temperature in your house is not going to drop below freezing, in some areas, naturally could be a good solution. Basements and attics that have exposed pipes (and are not traditionally heated) are a couple of the main areas which we see as problem areas in the service calls which we make. By wrapping exposed pipe in insulation and ensuring that the temperature in those areas stays regulated above freezing, will be of your first and greatest benefit to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Often times, to prevent these areas from getting too cold, Oklahoma City residents may use space heaters to control the temperature: this is not a practice which is recommended by Alex’s Construction Service in Oklahoma City. For many basements and attics that have exposed water pipes it might be possible to redirect forced heat ductwork to stabilize the temperature in these areas. This will not make these areas as warm as the remainder of your house, but will keep your temperature regulated at around 50° (the optimum temperature to keep pipes from freezing).

Exterior Exposure

It’s the small things that you never consider that usually cause the biggest problems. The leading culprit for frozen pipes in your Oklahoma City home stems from the outside water faucet/spigot. With this exposed metal component extruding from the outside wall it is open and accessible to the full brunt from the cold Oklahoma City weather. As the cold temperatures hit, it literally works just like a fuse (as pipes are good conductors) bringing the cold temperature into your piping system. When the spigot is just outside of where your kitchen or bathroom plumbing is situated, it might have a dual effect freezing both mainline as well as subsequent lines that happen to be close to the frozen section.

Prevention

Prevention because of this particular problem can be solved cheaper than 5 bucks. Home Depot, Lowes and even Wal-mart carry a faucet/spigot insulator cup which usually can be installed in a matter of seconds. You may also elect to have Alex’s Construction Service install an interior shut off valve on pipes leading to outside spigots.

TIP: For older homes in Oklahoma City that are prone to pipes freezing; on days where the temperature will dip below freezing for more than 5 hours: turn on the faucets in the home just a little. Flowing water is more difficult to freeze… it doesn’t have to be a strong flow.. just a trickle.

When Experience Counts

As you can see in this article, as well as our other articles, Alex’s Construction Service has been faithfully serving Oklahoma City for years. Our vast experience in construction and repair goes beyond our certifications, to a level of expertise that can only be honed through years of dedicated service on a wide variety of different projects. Locally owned and operated you can trust that we will always give the best price for the highest level of service.

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