With the cold months coming into play, it’s probably time to start thinking about ways you can protect your pipes from the threat of the frigid weather. One of the worst things to experience as a homeowner is frozen pipes, as this generally will lead to burst pipes and other major problems. In fact, burst pipes are the number one cause of property damage during cold weather…which can be very expensive to remedy. Today, we’re going to give you some tried and true ways to prevent your pipes from freezing up this winter season. Check out our list and give a few a try in your home!
- Let the water drip: During these times when the temperatures dip below freezing outside, you should make sure and let a little cold water drip from any faucets that are fed by outside lines that might be exposed to the cold. Just a little trickle is usually enough to keep the water from freezing up as it comes into your home.
- Keep it toasty indoors: Keeping the heat on in the winter is not only good for you and your family, but it’s good for your plumbing, too. When it’s freezing cold outside, this isn’t the time to try and keep adjusting the thermostat throughout the day to save a dollar here or there. Keep the inside temperature for your house the same to keep your pipes at a consistent temperature. Even if you are going out of town, you should set your heat to a temperature that will prevent pipes from freezing. We recommend keeping it at no lower than 55 degrees when you’re away from your home for an extended amount of time. A frozen and broken pipe while you’re away would be tragic to come home to.
- Open up the doors: During cold snaps, try to keep the cabinet doors at your bathroom and kitchen sinks open so that the warm air inside your home can circulate in and around those pipes. Do keep in mind that if you have pets or small children, it would be wise to take any hazardous products out from underneath for safety reasons.
- Put away outdoor hoses: As soon as the weather starts to dip into the freezing zone, it’s most likely time to stop doing any outdoor hose washing. Go ahead and disconnect these outdoor hoses from their faucets, drain them fully so no water stays inside to freeze or mold, and then roll them up to store safely until it starts to warm up again.
- Make sure pipes are properly insulated: This is especially important for any pipes that are coming in from the outdoors, or that are in areas that don’t get as much heat. Garages, basements, attics, and those types of spaces run a higher risk of having pipes that freeze because they aren’t getting the same heat flow. You may need to look into ways to insulate these pipes, such as adding insulation to the rooms they are in, slipping on a pipe sleeve to the at-risk pipes, and sealing any cracks in the surrounding area that may let in outside air. Aside from insulating the pipes, you should also just make sure all of your unheated spaces have adequate insulation in general.
- Keep garages closed: If you have a garage, try to keep that door closed when not actively in use (just don’t leave your car on with the door closed, please). That’ll help keep the pipes in that area just a little warmer.
There are other methods to help keep your pipes from freezing, but these are some of the most often used ones that we can agree with. As you can see, there are a variety of levels to try out in your home. We understand that the cost of heating your home in the winter can be a little bit of a pain, so some of these tips may seem counterintuitive to you, but it is so much less than the cost of the home repairs that would come from your pipes being frozen and exploding. Help protect your home by protecting your pipes this cold season and remember to have a plumber’s info on hand just in case!