25 Feb How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing
When temperatures begin to plummet, the chance of your home’s pipes freezing and bursting can skyrocket. In fact, one of the most common causes of damage to properties during cold weather is bursting pipes.
If this becomes a risk, it can cause some serious flooding. If no one is around to manually turn the water off, it means thousands of dollars in water damage.
Myth: Freezing Pipes Are Only a Concern in Cold Climates
A common misconception is that frozen pipes are only something that people who live in cold climates need to worry about. However, homes that reside in warmer climates are also very much at risk for this.
The pipes that are the most at risk tend to be those that exist in interior spaces that are unheated. This includes attics, garages, and basements. However, even pipes that run through exterior walls and cabinets can be prone to freezing.
This tends to be because residents of warmer areas simply don’t anticipate their plumbing becoming frozen. So they don’t take the necessary precautions of ensuring that everything is correctly insulated in preparation for the colder temperatures. In the winter and during abnormally cold weather, this becomes an issue.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things that you can do preventatively to make sure your water continues to run, and your house remains dry.
5 Tips to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing
1. Let Your Faucet Drip
One of the most common ways to avoid water damage to your home is to open the faucet fed by the at-risk pipe. Only do this a little so the faucet drips slightly. This small drip is enough to relieve any pressure within the system. If it were to freeze, the pressure created between the faucet and the blockage is actually what would cause it to burst. However, opening up the sink will prevent the issue from building up over time and thus keep it from bursting.
If your sink has both a hot and a cold knob, open both taps slightly. If it is a single handle, you should set it to warm.
2. Keep Your Heat On
If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, you should make sure the head is left turned on. While this may go against your instincts, this is a necessary step in the wintertime. Nobody wants to pay for their utilities when they aren’t even staying at the property, but you don’t want to be look at a significantly higher bill if a pipe bursts.
The heat setting does not need to be set as high as you would keep it if you were actually there – shoot for around 50 degrees. This temperature should provide enough of a blanket to keep anything from bursting and causing a lot of water damage to your possessions.
3. Seal Up Holes and Cracks
Fill in any extra space or gaps around where pipes run through floors or walls to prevent any cold air from entering. This can be a simple DIY chore using spray foam insulation or caulk. If you are able to, you should seal both the exterior and interior sides of the hole.
4. Keep Doors Open
No, not the front door to your house. Pipes can often be found in cabinets, which is why it helps to keep your cabinet doors open when it gets cold so that the heat in your home can reach those areas more easily. Keeping other interior doors, such as bedroom and bathroom doors, also makes it easier for heat to flow throughout the space.
5. Add More Insulation
Areas of your home that are not properly insulated, like your attic or basement, often have plumping located in them. Consider adding additional insulation to these areas.
However, regardless of where the plumbing is located in your home, extra insulation could be the cure to anything freezing. This can be a pricey endeavor, depending on if you need to open up ceilings, floors, or walls in order to get to the desired areas.
6. Permanent Protection
If you’re looking for a longer-term solution, it can turn into a major project. This can include complete outdoor faucet replacement for a model that is frost-proof and even the rerouting of pipes to keep them away from colder areas within the property.
It’s wise to bring in professional emergency services to inspect your pipes thoroughly, and give you solutions to protect your pipes throughout the entire season.