As winter approaches, there are steps you need to take to ensure the safety of your property. Your plumbing is something you need to keep an extra close eye on. Without proper care, you could end up with frozen pipes as soon as the weather gets cold.
What are some steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes this winter?
If you’re worried about your home’s plumbing, you’re in luck. Here are some steps you can take to keep your plumbing safe this winter!
Why Are Frozen Pipes Dangerous?
Making sure that your plumbing is safe during the winter is crucial if you want to keep your property safe and secure. Water expands as it freezes, which can quickly become a problem in your plumbing; expanding water can cause your pipes to become damaged, or even burst if the issue is ignored for too long. This can lead to severe water damage and cost you a fortune in repairing your plumbing.
Keep Garage Doors Closed
Many garages have pipelines inside of them. To protect these pipes, as well as the rest of your home’s plumbing, you should keep your garage door closed as often as possible. This keeps any remaining heat inside and prevents your pipes from freezing.
Open Kitchen and Cabinet Doors
To improve air circulation around the pipes inside of your home, open up any kitchen and bathroom cabinets with pipes behind them. This will allow warmer air to access your pipes, preventing freezing. This is especially useful if you have any pipes next to exterior walls.
Drain Any Outside Water Sources
Any pools, outdoor hoses, or water sprinklers should be drained well before the cold hits. These pipes and hoses will be the first things to freeze and burst; for their protection, and the protection of your home’s plumbing, you need to remove any excess water before it has a chance to freeze.
Once you have drained the water from them, bring any hoses or similar items inside for storage. You should close any water valves supplying water outdoors. Any outside valves should be left open; that way, any water left inside can freeze and expand without causing damage to the pipes.
Avoid using antifreeze unless instructed otherwise. This is a harmful chemical that poses risks to you, your property, and any animals that wander onto your property.
Let Water Run
As the cold weather hits, keeping your faucets running can help prevent them from freezing. Even a small trickle of water can keep your pipes from freezing.
The constant flow of water makes it more difficult for freezing to take place. It also helps to release excess water pressure within the pipes, preventing damage. Let your faucets run for at least a few minutes each day to help prevent freezing.
Turn Up the Heat
Keeping the inside of your home at a warm, even temperature will do a lot to prevent frozen pipes. Make sure that the temperature stays the same during the day and night. You can utilize fans to blow warm air into cooler rooms if they aren’t connected to your home’s heating system.
You should make sure that your heat is set to at least 55 degrees, even when you plan to be gone. The last thing you want is to return home only to find that some of your pipes have burst during your trip.
Finally, you can use pipe heaters for particularly vulnerable portions of your plumbing. Electric heat cables respond directly to cold temperatures, only turning on when the weather gets especially cold. If you have a few pipes that you aren’t able to heat reliably, then heat cables are a good solution; however, it is an expensive solution if you have many vulnerable pipes.
Insulation is key if you want to keep your home, and your plumbing, warm this winter. Adding insulation to your attic, crawlspace, or garage can help prevent your pipes from freezing during the winter. You can also add insulation around exposed pipes in other rooms that have a hard time holding in heat.
You should also seal the cracks around doors and windows to prevent cold drafts from getting into your home. Make sure that you seal any cracks in your foundation or any other structural damage that may let cold air in as well. That way, the insulation will have the best chance to keep your pipes warm.
Know the Signs of Frozen Pipes
No matter how many preventative measures you take, you may still end up with frozen pipes. If this happens, you need to spot them before your plumbing becomes severely damaged. There are a few signs that you can watch out for that indicate potential frozen pipes.
If you try to let your faucets run during the winter but nothing comes out, then you may have frozen pipes. Plumbing that feels cold to the touch could also indicate issues inside. If you have any reason to suspect you have frozen pipes, contact plumbing services right away!
Avoid Frozen Pipes this Winter
Now that you know the best way to avoid frozen pipes, you can get to work preparing your home for cold weather. If you’re ever in doubt about the safety of your pipes or think you may have frozen or damaged pipes, contact your local plumber immediately! They can repair your damaged plumbing and recommend new steps you can take to protect your home.
Do you know someone who needs to prepare their home before winter?
Be sure to share this article with your friends and family to help them with winter prep and continue reading our blog for more information today!