A frozen pipe can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. The nightmare gets significantly worse if that frozen, burst pipe is buried under a concrete slab. Repairing a slab leak will mean breaking apart your concrete and digging up the buried line before repairs begin. Often, the best thing you can do about a slab leak is stop it before it even starts. Because these pipes are buried underground, they are rarely subject to freezing, even in winter. However, it can sometimes occur, so it’s still a good idea to take the preventative steps outlined in the article below. However pipes at the perimeter of the slab and outside the home’s footprint are subject to freezing. If you suspect that you already have a leak under your slab, look for leak detection near me to find a professional who specializes in finding and repairing these kinds of leaks.
Have Any Clogs Removed
One of the main lines that run under your slab is your sewer line. This pipe typically has little water in it, so when it’s being maintained adequately, it’s not likely to freeze and burst. However, that changes if the pipe has a clog in it. Not only will a clog in your sewer line lead to standing water in the pipe, but it will also weaken the pipe’s structural integrity. This increases the odds that the water inside the pipe will freeze and that the resulting pressure increase will be sufficient to burst the pipe from within.
If you have noticed any slowdowns in your home’s drains, and they’re not being corrected by treating the individual drains themselves, you likely have a sewer line clog. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of clog that you can remove yourself, and will need the attention of a plumber. You should contact a professional to provide clog removal services for your sewer main line before the next freeze, so you can decrease the risk of your pipe bursting.
Insulate More of Your Home
While not all of your sub-slab pipes are located directly below your home (some will be under your driveway, for example), the pipes coming up from the slab and feeding your home’s service risers and fixtures are susceptible to freezing. This means they can benefit from you insulating parts of your home that aren’t padded adequately against the winter chill. This can include areas like your garage, crawlspaces, attic, or unfinished basement. These areas can get quite cold in winter, and that will impact vulnerable parts of your pressurized plumbing system.. Adding insulation can bring the temperature of those spaces up by a few degrees and further protect your sub-slab pipes from potentially freezing.
Consider monitoring the temperature in these areas of your home, particularly if any water lines run through them. Smart thermometers can be placed anywhere on your property and connected via a smartphone app so that you can see if the temperature in an unoccupied part of your home becomes extremely cold. If you notice that your crawlspace, basement, or garage is dipping below-freezing temperatures, you should warm up the space before any nearby pipes freeze.
Keep Irrigation Systems Maintained
Often, at the start of winter, homeowners will turn off their irrigation at the timer. This leaves water pressure in the system. Turning off the water to the irrigation system and then draining the pressure will help prevent bursts during a cold snap.
Keep a Little Water Running
If the weather report shows below-freezing temperatures in the forecast, consider keeping a slow trickle of water from your pipes. Not only can this help prevent the water lines throughout your house from freezing, but it can also help your water main line. When you keep your taps open to just a trickle, you’re promoting water flow through your pipes so that it’s not at a standstill and a lot less likely to freeze. Flowing water is much less likely to freeze than standing water—hence, a pond will freeze a lot sooner than a river on a cold winter’s day.
If you’re worried about wasting water, you can place buckets or bowls under your taps to catch the trickles of water and use that for cooking, cleaning, or other purposes later on. Ultimately, however, the cost of trickling your water throughout the night during a freeze is a lot lower than the cost of paying to repair a burst pipe and all of the water damage it causes.
Make Sure Your Pipes Are in Good Condition
Properly caring for your pipes throughout the year is one of the best things you can do to prevent freezing and bursting in winter. The simple fact is that strong, well-cared-for pipes are a lot less likely to burst than ones weakened by age or neglect. If you need a professional to help you repair and maintain your plumbing, contact Central Valley Bullseye Leak Detection, a leak detection company near me. We can help with repairs to any part of your plumbing, including slab leak detection and repair. Call now to schedule an appointment.