Do you live in an area that experiences cold winters? If the temperature ever drops below freezing (32⁰ F), your pipes could freeze. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, frozen pipes are some of the most common causes of wintertime damage to properties.
When pipes freeze, they can burst and lead to thousands of dollars in damage. When this happens, a plumbing repair contractor is needed. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent this expensive problem. Here are the best ways to prevent frozen pipes this holiday season.
Allow cold water to drip from the faucets
Although it’s important to conserve water whenever possible, it’s also important to avoid damage from burst pipes. If you know the weather is going to drop below freezing, turn on your faucets just enough to let the water drip out. Running water through the pipes is one of the best ways to prevent freezing.
Close your garage doors
Do you have water supply lines in your garage? If so, you need to keep your garage door closed. Normally, the air in the garage is several degrees warmer than the air outside. But if you keep the garage door open, it will become just as cold as the air outside. Protect your water supply lines by keeping the garage door shut.
Add more insulation to your home
If you live in an older home, you probably don’t have a lot of insulation in the basement, attic, or crawl spaces. Adding more insulation will not only help you keep your home warmer and save energy, but it may also lead to higher temperatures in areas where your pipes are located. This can prevent freezing.
Don’t set your temperature too low when you’re gone
When you go on vacation or leave your home for the day, don’t turn your thermostat completely off. To prevent freezing pipes, set the temperature to 55⁰ F or higher. You should also resist the urge to turn your thermostat down too much when you go to bed. Again, it’s best not to go below 55⁰ F in freezing weather.
Open your cabinet doors
The key to avoiding frozen pipe repair is keeping your pipes as warm as you can in cold weather. In addition to keeping your water running at a drip, you can also open your cabinet doors in both your bathroom and kitchen.
Opening cabinet doors can help the warm air in your home circulate around your pipes. This method is especially effective if your sinks are located on one or more exterior walls.
Thaw frozen pipes as quickly as possible
If you suspect your pipes are already frozen, thaw them out as quickly as possible. If you have direct access to the pipes, wrap them with a heating pad or hot towel. You can also attempt to thaw them out with the hot air from a hairdryer or space heater. Never use an open flame to thaw a pipe.
Bursting pipes can quickly ruin holiday festivities if you aren’t careful. Follow these helpful tips to prevent freezing pipes, or schedule frozen pipe repair right away if your pipes are already damaged from freezing temperatures.