Winter can be a wonderful season with great holidays and chilly weather, but winter also brings an assortment of problems. For instance, cold weather can wreak havoc on any unprotected outdoor water pipes. Water typically freezes at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit as long as it isn’t moving, and this is often the situation in the external piping that supplies fresh water to a home or business. Unfortunately, freezing water can cause these pipes to crack, and this type of damage usually requires an expert in Frozen Pipe Repair in Charleston SC to correct any breaks.
Actually, the damage from freezing water is not due to the expanding ice. It is a result of the air in the pipe being compressed. The expanding ice keeps spreading through the pipe and freezing more water, and this eliminates much of the open space at the top of the pipe. As the ice expands, it compresses any gas inside the piping, but the compressed gasses have nowhere to go. Eventually, a rupture will occur when the pressure encounters a weak area or becomes too strong for the pipe walls to contain it. The damage may be small as a crack in the side of the pipe or it might break the pipe in two. A frozen pipe can even burst the fittings that splice joints together, but this is less frequent.
One reason that property owners seek out professional Frozen Pipe Repair in Charleston SC is the quality of materials used in water lines. Common plumbing materials include PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and copper. PVC is fairly durable, but it can become brittle if the temperature gets low enough. Copper is more reliable, but even copper pipe can rupture if enough internal pressure is applied. One possible remedy to prevent a pipe rupture is insulating any exposed plumbing. If severely low temperatures are expected, it may be wise to place pipe heaters around any exposed areas. Sadly, there are times when even the best preparations do not help and freezing occurs. The result can be disastrous because damaged pipes may not be noticed immediately and water can saturate many construction materials. Learn more about frozen pipe repair from experts such as Preferred Home Services.