With freezing temperatures comes freezing pipes, and especially in industrial buildings, it’s important to take precautions to prevent frozen pipes and the damage that they can potentially cause to your plumbing.
When temperatures drop and the water running through your pipes freezes, that water expands, meaning that if there are any weak spots in the pipes like corroded or rusted areas, those spots could easily burst. When the water thaws out, you could be dealing with some serious water damage – especially if the burst pipe happened somewhere behind a wall or otherwise out of sight. Even if a freeze didn’t cause your pipes to burst this time around, the freezing water very well could have done some hidden damage to the pipes anyway, making it all the more imperative that you prevent them from freezing again.
Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do in your building to prevent freezing from occurring in your industrial piping. First off, be sure to insulate exposed pipes and pipes that run along exterior walls. If this wasn’t done during construction, you can purchase pipe sleeves or insulation tape at your local hardware store. Check areas where the temperature is likely to fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at any given time for signs of damage, as well, as it’s possible that you’ve already suffered ice problems that hasn’t been severe enough to be a noticeable issue.
If you’re expecting a deep cold front or if you will be out of the building for a few days, another option is to open your faucets to let a gentle trickle of water out. This will keep water moving continuously through your pipes, preventing them from freezing. This is not a long-term fix, however, and should not be relied upon each time the weather turns cold – especially since it will waste water and drive up your water bill – but it’s a good fix in a pinch.
Should your pipes freeze completely, you need to thaw them as quickly as possible. You can use a hair dryer or a small space heater directed at the pipes to melt the ice and get the water in your plumbing moving again. Another option is to use heat tape, which is a kind of insulated tape that plugs into an available outlet to power a warm wire that runs along the pipe that it’s taped to, keeping it from freezing.
As long as you take the necessary precautions, you’ll have nothing to worry about during the cold months. No one wants to have to contend with the damage that a burst pipe can cause, so make sure to stay ahead of the cold this winter. If you do end up with plumbing problems, though, the professional team at R.G. Smith Company can help you get things flowing again quickly. As experts in industrial piping, we have the experience and know-how to fix any issue. For repairs, give us a call in Canton today at 330-456-3415 or at the Mansfield office at 419-524-4778.