We’re approaching the time of year where frozen pipes are all too common. When water freezes, it expands, and when this happens inside your plumbing pipes, it puts the entire system at risk. And then when increased pressure builds inside the pipes it makes them prone to cracking. Let’s discuss how to prevent frozen pipes this winter.
You certainly don’t want to deal with a burst pipe during a freezing winter spell! There’s so much damage a frozen pipe can cause. For instance, an 1/8-inch crack can release 250 gallons of water per day. Flooding can lead to mold and to very costly structural damage. You should take every precaution possible to prevent this disaster from happening. Do you know how to avoid frozen pipes? We’ve got a few tips to keep you ahead of a winter disaster.
A few preventive measures will keep your pipes moving and above freezing, even when temperatures fall.
Open your faucets
If you are expecting freezing temperatures, open the water faucets in your home, just a little, to allow a slow, constant drip. This will keep your pipes warm and reduce the pressure.
Open cabinet doors
Expose the pipes under your bathroom and kitchen sinks. They are prone to freezing and by opening the doors warm air will reach them.
Open the air vents
Avoid cold zones as much as possible. If all the air vents are open warm air can blow into every room.
Protect outdoor faucets
Drain and close off all outdoor faucets. Disconnect any water hoses that are still attached outdoors. Use faucet covers. They provide insulation and protection from falling ice.
Keep the furnace on low
Leaving town? Be sure you program your furnace to continue running. If your house gets too cold, a burst pipe may greet you upon your return home.
You’ll want to implement these low-cost, temporary fixes when temperatures begin to drop. If you notice ice crystals on your indoor pipes, use a hair dryer on a low setting to melt the ice. If you lose power and the weather is sub-zero, insulate and cover your most vulnerable pipes immediately.
Longer-term solutions, although certainly more expensive, can give you even more security and protect your pipes from freezing for many years.
Try these permanent solutions to prevent frozen pipes:
- Insulate your crawl space
- Replace standard outdoor faucets
- Insulate the walls
- Repair exterior wall cracks
- Reroute the pipes
While you cannot prevent icy weather, you can protect your pipes with these temporary or long lasting methods. If you have questions about which measures will work best for your pipes, contact a professional plumber.