01 Mar How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
During the coldest months of the year, your pipes at risk of freezing. The real risk of your pipes freezing is that the water trapped inside of them will expand, causing the pipes to burst. In fact, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damages during the winter and can cost upwards of $5,000 to fix.
Which pipes are most at risk?
The pipes in your home that are most likely to freeze and burst, are the ones that are in unheated interior spaces of your home, such as basements, attics, and garages. In cold enough temperatures, though, the pipes running through cabinets and exterior walls are also at risk of freezing.
If you are worried about some of your pipes freezing and bursting, invest in some pipe insulation. And this investment will only cost you 50 cents per linear foot of insulation. You can use this insulation liberally to protect any of your more vulnerable pipes.
Keep things warm
When the temperature outside is really cold, you should take extra measures to make sure that the temperature inside is warm, and that the water in your pipes is flowing. You should be concerned if the temperature reaches about 20 degrees farenheit, especially if you have pipes that are uninsulated, running in an uninsulated space. If you feel they may be close to bursting, here are a few emergency tips until the handyman can get there:
-keep your garage doors closed, especially if you have water supply lines in the garage
-open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes and keep them warm.
-let the cold water from exposed pipes drip. This may seem dumb, as you’re wasting resources, but keeping the water flowing through the pipes, even at a slow trickle, will prevent the pipes from freezing.
-keep the thermostat set to a consistent temperature, both during the night and day. Don’t set your thermostat back at night to try and save a few dollars, because you it may cost you your pipes.
-long term, you should add insulation to your home in the areas that have uninsulated and exposed pipes. Places like the attic, basement, crawl spaces, and the garage should be insulated to help them maintain higher temperatures when it’s cold. You should also seal cracks in doors and windows, as well as sill plates where the house rests on its foundation.