The cold winter months wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system. During freezing temperatures, water in pipes freezes and expands, causing cracks and bursts that cause extensive water damage. Preventing frozen pipes should be a top priority for all homeowners as the weather gets colder.
The best way to avoid frozen pipes is to insulate any water pipes that are exposed to cold air. It also includes pipes in unheated indoor spaces like basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces. Use pipe insulation or heat tape to wrap susceptible pipes. The insulation provides a barrier between the cold air and the pipe. It helps regulate the temperature and reduces the chance of freezing. Be sure to check existing insulation for any worn sections that expose the pipe and rewrap as needed before winter hits.
Seal air leaks
Sealing any cracks, gaps, or openings throughout your home helps prevent cold air from penetrating places with pipes. Do a thorough check for areas that connect the indoors and outdoors, like around windows, doors, electrical outlets, pipes, vents, and wires. Use caulk or weather-stripping to seal any leaks or draftee areas. Stopping the flow of cold air keeps your pipes at a safe temperature.
Open cabinet doors
If you have plumber Bondi located in cabinets against exterior walls, make sure to open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate the pipes during cold spells. The warm air circulation helps combat the cold that could otherwise seep in from outside. Leave lower kitchen and bathroom cabinets open to keep pipes in those areas from freezing.
Disconnect outdoor hoses
Before winter, make sure to disconnect all hoses from outdoor spigots. The water inside garden hoses freezes during cold weather and causes bursting or cracks. Disconnecting them allows excess water to drain out. You should also use hose bib covers or insulation to wrap spigots and prevent freezing. Shut off the valve to outdoor spigots and drain any remaining water from the pipes leading to them.
Keeping your thermostat set to at least 55°F is vital for avoiding frozen pipes. The heat prevents the indoor air and pipe temperatures from approaching freezing levels. If you’re going away for an extended period when cold temperature is expected, do not turn off the heat. Instead, keep it on a low setting to maintain a temperature warm enough to keep pipes from freezing. Consider installing a freeze-prevention monitor that alerts you if the temperature drops too low.
Let faucets drip
Allowing your faucets to drip during wet, cold weather prevents pipes from freezing. Keeping water moving within the pipes helps stop it from freezing in place. The dripping doesn’t have to be steady. Even a drop every few seconds makes a difference. Choose an indoor faucet that is against an exterior wall or on the top floor to keep water flowing through vulnerable pipes.