Freezing pipes present a big threat to home owners. Frozen pipes not only limit water from running throughout your house, they can easily burst and damage your home.
Preventing your pipes from freezing is much easier and cheaper than fixing a frozen or burst pipe. Here are some tips for how to prevent freezing pipes:
Avoid Stagnant Water
Pipes are most vulnerable to freezing when water inside isn’t circulating. There are two important ways to avoid water sitting in your pipes and freezing.
- First, drain pipes that aren’t used over the winter. Disconnect any hoses or sprinklers that won’t be used and close valves that supply water to these outdoor spigots. After the water is shut off for these areas, open the hose bibs to allow the remaining water in the pipes to drain.
- As for pipes that are in use during the winter, it is important to keep water circulating during extremely cold weather. If temperatures are very cold, it is smart to let water drip from faucets throughout your home. The running water will help prevent these pipes from freezing and possibly bursting.
Prepare for Vacation
One of the most common times for pipes to freeze is while homeowners are away on vacation. However, this can be avoided by following a few easy steps.
- Since water won’t be running at all while you’re gone, it’s important to drain your pipes before you leave. Shut off the main water supply to your home and drain pipes by opening all faucets and flushing toilets.
- A common mistake homeowners make is thinking that they don’t need to heat their home while they’re away. While the temperature certainly doesn’t need to be comfortable for living, it is important to keep the heat running low to prevent pipes from dropping below freezing.
There are numerous products you can use to help keep pipes in your home warm.
- Insulation foam can be wrapped around exposed pipes in your home to keep them at a moderate temperature. Consider this for exterior pipes or pipes in your attic that are exposed to cold temperatures.
- Similar to insulation foam, products such as heat tape and a heat cable can keep your pipes warm. Run the tape or cable along with areas of pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing.
Expose Pipes to Warm Air
- Most pipes in your home are likely running through walls or inside of cabinets. Open kitchen and cabinet doors to expose the pipes to the warm air circulating through your home.