It’s straight out of a winter wonderland nightmare. Imagine having to deal with a burst pipe due to freezing temperatures. In some cases, the frozen water in a pipe will only block water flow, which is not fun. But most often, freezing temperatures cause pipes to burst and flood, potentially causing costly damage to your home.
Here are a few steps you can take to prevent this major plumbing disaster in your home.
Keep the Heat Running
Avoid turning your heat off when you leave your home. As you know, the weather around here is highly unpredictable. Temperatures can go from sunny and 70 degrees to freezing rain in an instant. If you’re going out of town, set your thermostat to a minimum of 50 degrees. This will keep the temp low enough that it won’t run constantly, but high enough to protect your plumbing if the temperature drops.
Let Your Faucets Drip
Pressure that builds between frozen blockage in your pipes and the faucet is what causes them to ultimately burst. Opening the valve and allowing your faucets to drip relieves this pressure and can keep it from bursting.
Open Interior Cabinet Doors
Opening up the cabinet doors around your interior plumbing systems will allow heat to circulate and prevent freezing. This is especially important for any areas where plumbing is located on an exterior wall.
Seal Up Cracks and Holes
Examine the area around your pipes on the interior and exterior of your home for cracks and holes. You can use caulk to fill these empty spaces to keep cold air out and warm air inside. For outdoor water spigots, add foam insulated covers to protect them from the elements.
Frozen and busted pipes are not only a problem in areas with colder climates. They are actually more likely in warmer weather areas that see less freezing weather outside of the occasional cold snap. In the northern regions of the country, homes are built with more insulation to combat the chilly weather conditions. We get plenty of freezing weather out here on the High Plains so your home is probably adequately insulated. It’s still worth it to inspect your home thoroughly so that you are prepared for winter weather conditions no matter how severe they may be.
If you need to take extra measures to protect your plumbing system, there are two solutions you can consider.
Apply Heat Tape
For pipes that are easily accessible, you can apply heating tape to keep them warm. Standard heating tape can be applied directly to the pipes and will automatically heat up when it senses colder temperatures. Note that these products can be dangerous. It’s important to follow installation instructions thoroughly and consult a professional if you need assistance.
A second option would be to install additional insulation throughout your home. This is especially important for pipes that are located in an attic or basement. Adding insulation to your pipes can be a relatively inexpensive way to protect them from cold temperatures; however, the price goes up considerably if you need to open up walls or ceilings to install insulation.
We're happy to provide these friendly tips and solutions to our valued customers. It is our mission to be a company of High Touch in this age of High Tech, which means we're here for our customers far beyond the selling and servicing of equipment. Call or visit your local store today and speak with local experts to find solutions to your problems.