Avoid Frozen Pipes and Water Leaks
While the festivities may be over, the cool weather is set to stay. Not only does this mean we’re digging out those winter sweaters, but it means that we should be extra cautious with our home. Cold weather can be bad enough, but having water pipes freeze is something no homeowner needs. When pipes freeze, they can easily burst, causing a huge amount of damage and expensive repairs. As soon as the temperatures start to drop, take precautions to protect your home’s pipes.
Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attics, even if the weather forecast says that the chance of freezing is unlikely. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember that the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
Wrap pipes in heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables. This will prevent pipes from freezing in the first place. Be sure you only use products approved by an independent testing organization, and only for the use intended (exterior or interior).
Seal leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to block out the cold air. When the temperature outside drops, even the smallest of openings can be enough to let the cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
Drain garden pipes before the cooler temperatures arrive. Turn off the outdoor water supply and then turn on the hoses and outdoor pipes to drain the water. This reduces the chance of freezing.
Run the heating in your house regularly. Set it to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even if you’re going out of town for a couple of days.
If your pipes do freeze, call a plumber immediately. Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. If your pipes have burst, turn off the main water supply as soon as possible.