As a homeowner, you probably already know about the damage mother nature can do to your property, whether it’s fluctuating temperatures or seismic activity. One of the most common problems for properties at this time of year is freezing water pipes.
Frozen pipes can be extremely inconvenient and may prevent water from efficiently pumping through your home, disrupting the plumbing entirely. Frost build-up around your pipes can also lead to cracking and can potentially cause your pipes to burst.
Though it’s a common problem, there are ways you can avoid frozen pipes altogether. Here are a few tips to help you prevent frozen pipes before the winter.
Pipes located in your basement or in your attic are more exposed to the elements. Therefore, they’re more likely to freeze. One way you can keep them from freezing is by insulating them before temperatures plummet. Pipe insulation can be easily found at your local hardware store.
Heat tape and heated reflector lamps can also be used in the coldest parts of your house where pipes are more likely to freeze. Quick tip: insulating nooks, crannies, windows and doorways around your home (specifically, under your home) can also dramatically lower your chances of getting frozen pipes.
If you live in an area where the water bill comes cheap, you may also want to try the dripping method. All you have to do is set your faucets to drip slightly. This keeps the water pressure constant and gets your water flowing, making it less likely to freeze. It’s best to use this method from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. since temperatures seem to drop during this time.
Open Your Cabinets
One of the most well-known solutions for freezing pipes is to open the cabinets around your home, especially those with piping under the sink. This helps warm air circulate around your pipes, making them less likely to freeze over.
Keep A Fixed Temperature
It’s best to set your thermostat running at 55-65 degrees (F) to keep your house well above freezing temperatures. The warmer the house, the less likely it is for your pipes to freeze.
If you have a crawl access inside your home, or if you have an attic or basement lined with pipes, it may be useful to set a heated fan to blow warm air onto the surfaces of the pipes. The hot air’s conduction will help water to flow throughout your home without the risk of bursting or frozen pipes.
Always Check for Leaks
Cracked pipes are potential hazards for freezing. A cracked pipe exposes the water it carries to outside temperatures, which is why it’s extremely important to be on the lookout for leaks. Leaks can be easily dealt with–all you need is a little sealant or caulk to plug it up. It’s best to do so as soon as possible to prevent further pipe damage.
Fix Pipes Right Away
At times, you may be too late to remedy the problem since freezing pipes leave your drainage with overwhelming breaks. If you find multiple broken or cracked pipes, make sure to remedy this immediately before permanent structural damage is caused. Sometimes, sealant or caulk may not be enough, in which case you need to contact a foundation repair company to help you salvage your pipes.
Frozen pipes can be a hassle, but by being proactive and putting these simple tips into action, you may be able to save them from freezing or cracking. If you do, be sure to do so well before the winter months.