Preventing Frozen Pipes in Your Home

As temperatures begin to drop, it is wise for homeowners to prep their houses for the winter. Pipes are particularly vulnerable as water can easily freeze in them. It is very common for pipes to freeze and burst in the winter when preventative measures have not been taken, resulting in costly damage. Frozen pipes can burst, which can cause even more severe damage, such as flooding. So how do you protect your water systems in the winter? The key is to keep your pipes warm and protected, which can be done through a few different steps.

Insulate Pipes

A great way to prevent frozen pipes is to purchase insulation for them. Be sure that it is specially designed for your lines, or it might not work. This is a pretty inexpensive investment. You should first tend to the pipes in unheated spaces of your home like the attic, garage, or basement. If you do not have much time before the cold comes in, duct tape and wadded-up newspaper can be used for a temporary solution.

Keep Garage Doors Closed

It is also helpful to keep garage doors closed, which is particularly crucial if you have water supply lines that go through the garage. Since garages are typically pretty cold spaces in the winter already, it is important not to let any more cold air in that would drop the temperature. If a garage door is left open, water supply lines are at great risk of freezing. The importance of homeowners insurance  can not be stressed enough, as you never know what can arise even if you take all the precautions.

Open Cabinets

Open the bathroom and kitchen cabinets from time to time so that warm air can circulate through the plumbing. This will help avoid any ice blockages and pressure buildups in the pipes. If you know that temperatures will be dropping drastically, be sure to open cabinets before you go to bed to allow pipes to warm up a bit. Note: Remove chemicals or toxic cleaners from the cabinets before leaving them open if you have small children or pets that could get into them.

Let Faucets Drip

You can help prevent your pipes from freezing by leaving a faucet running. This does not entail leaving all the faucets in your home running. First, narrow down what ones are fed by exposed piping to leave those few faucets dripping when it is especially cold. Even the smallest trickle carries some energy that standing water does not, making it much harder to freeze. This is a simple way to help prevent the formation of ice blockages. A running faucet also relieves pressure build-up to help prevent pipes from bursting, even if the water inside freezes. Leave both cold and hot water lines slightly running so that pressure doesn't build up in one and not the other.

Keep the Thermostat Consistent

It is smart to keep your thermostat set to the same temperature throughout the day and the night. A slightly higher energy bill will be worth saving your pipes. Keeping the temperature as consistent as possible during the day and the night will greatly help keep the pipes free of ice.

Seal Cracks and Openings

Inspect your home for any unwanted openings, such as cracks or holes. You will want to close up any drafts that could be affecting your water systems. Examine your windows, door frames, and cable holes, sealing openings with caulk, especially near piping in both exterior and interior walls. This will significantly help keep warm air contained to prevent ice blockages.

Use Heating Tape

Applying electrical heating tape directly to the pipe to help it retain heat is another option. This can be particularly beneficial for pipes in unheated or exterior locations ( i.e. attics, basements). A self-monitoring heating tape uses a sensor and turns on and off by itself whenever it senses that heat is needed. A manual type of heating tape requires you to plug it in when needed and unplug it once the pipe is warm. Keep in mind that using heating tape can be dangerous as you will need to be very careful to follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety procedures.

About David G. Sayles Insurance Services

At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, we help our clients decide which of these options is best for them based on their current situation and risk factors.  Contact us at 1-855-977-1842 or for a consultation!

About David G. Sayles Insurance Services

At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, we help our clients decide which of these options is best for them based on their current situation and risk factors. Contact us at 1-855-977-1842 or for a consultation!

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