Frozen pipes are a genuine concern among Indianapolis homeowners during the winter months. Pipes exposed to the cold can freeze up and burst, causing extensive water damage. The right pipe materials can help reduce this risk. Find out more about different pipe materials.
Copper is a traditional type of pipe material due to its durability and corrosion resistance. Copper pipes have been used for years. However, they lose heat fast, making them vulnerable to freezing.
PVC pipes are made of plastic called polyvinyl chloride. They’re used as a cost-effective alternative to copper since they typically cost less. PVC is effective at keeping water hot inside pipes, but it can crack in cold weather.
PEX — or cross-linked polyethylene — pipes are more flexible than copper and PVC. Although this material typically costs more, it’s considered a better choice for preventing leaks. However, exposure to the sun’s UV rays and cold weather can damage this material.
Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Whether you have copper, PVC, or PEX pipe materials, you can take steps to protect them from freezing. This includes insulating any pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as attics and crawl spaces, as well as pipes along exterior walls. You can also disconnect outdoor hoses and turn off outdoor faucets and valves to prevent frozen pipes. Other tips include opening cabinet doors so heated air can reach pipes and leaving faucets running with a small water drip during cold snaps.
What to Do About Frozen Pipes
If you have frozen pipes, use a hair dryer, electric heating pad, or space heater to help thaw them out. Keep space heaters away from any flammable materials if you use one. You can also wrap frozen pipes with hot or warm towels. If pipes burst, call a plumber right away to prevent severe water damage to your home.
For help choosing the right pipe materials or for plumbing repairs this winter, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We offer dependable plumbing and HVAC services for homeowners in the Indianapolis area.