Weather has been severe this winter and it’s not over yet. When this weather hit last year and we received a record number of frozen pipes, I thought it was an anomaly – a “freak” year, so to speak. Surprisingly this year is proving even worse and apparently the “climate change” trend can cause very erratic weather patterns that can result in unusual warming and/or cooling, with often unprecedented levels of precipitation.
The most common source of frozen pipes is in outside faucets. Homeowners must ensure that pipes are drained, and the shut-off valve controlling the water flow to the outside, turned to the “off” position prior to first frost.
Frozen pipes can occur inside the building too, most notably where:
- Pipes run through an uninsulated or poorly insulated space such as a crawlspace, exposed floor (ie. Addition without a basement), garage ceiling, basement
- Plumbing has been installed in an outside wall that’s poorly insulated or in an old house that has no insulation
- Pipes pass through or are situated in a drafty place such as near broken or leaky windows
In order to remedy the situation, drywall will need to be removed over the problem area and a plumber will likely need to be called to remedy any damage done to the pipes.
Remove existing insulation (if any) and call Foam Comfort to come and insulate the wall. Because spray foam is an air barrier and goes on as a liquid that quickly expands to fill all cracks, gaps and holes. In addition to being an insulator, it will stop drafts. Sometimes even well insulated pipes will freeze. It is better to insulate the wall with spray foam and to leave the pipe open to the heat on the inside of the building. Never encase plumbing lines in spray foam – spray foam cannot create heat – it’s value is in it’s ability to retain heat within a confined space.