With the onset of winter and freezing temperatures, the possibility of your pipes freezing becomes an important issue to take necessary precautions to prevent. Pipes that burst from freezing are a common problem in the winter and can easily cost you more than $5000 in repairs.
Luckily, there are several simple steps you can take to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting. Taking preventative steps will cost you much less than burst pipes and damaged property in the long run.
Keep Your Thermostat Up
Although keeping your heat on while you aren’t home may seem like an unnecessary expense, it’s absolutely necessary to ensure that your pipes don’t freeze. If you are going to be gone, do not set your thermostat any lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important to keep your heat set consistently to the same temperature day and night. It’s not a good idea to lower thermostat temperatures at night during the middle of a winter cold spell.
Insulate Your Pipes
Insulating your pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves is an inexpensive and effective way to reduce the chances of your pipes freezing when temperatures drop. This is especially crucial for pipes that are located in areas of the house that are not properly insulated, such as basements or attics.
This works to help insulate pipes and keep them at the same temperature as the water within the pipes. However, this will not add any additional heat, so if your pipes are going to be exposed to long periods of freezing temperatures, consider heating tape.
Apply Heating Tape
Heating tape is a great option for pipes that are easily accessible and at a higher risk of freezing. There are two different kinds of heating tape. Automatic heating tape senses when your pipes need heat and automatically turns on. The other type of heating tape requires you to plug it in as needed for colder temperatures. It is important that you remember to unplug this kind when it warms up. There are safety risks involved with this option, so similar to other heating devices such as space heaters, be sure to follow safety instructions.
Keep Doors Open
A simple – and completely free – step to take to protect pipes from freezing is to keep your doors and cabinets open. Keeping cabinet doors open when temperatures are especially cold allows for the heat in the house to reach the pipes. Similarly, keeping doors open to rooms in the house assures that no room will be especially cold and putting pipes at risk.
Keep Water Dripping From The Faucet
Although you may worry about an increased water bill from allowing the faucet to drip, the slightly increased water bill is much less expensive than a burst pipe. Pipes burst due to the pressure of flowing water trying to get past an ice blockage in a freezing pipe. By allowing a steady drip, you can keep water flowing and keep pressure from building up. This helps protect your pipes from bursting. It’s helpful to locate which faucets in your house are fed by exposed pipes and leave those dripping. Another important feature of keeping your faucets dripping is that moving water contains a small amount of heat and will not freeze as quickly.
Seal Up Gaps
Properly sealing the gaps around the holes surrounding your pipes with caulk or spray foam insulation, is another way to help prevent freezing. Try to make sure you are sealing the gap on both the interior and exterior sides of the house if accessible. This is especially important for pipes located near exterior walls or in locations where temperatures tend to be cooler.
Keep Your Garage Door Closed
Keeping your garage door closed is a simple way to ensure that your garage, which is already colder, doesn’t reach temperatures that put your pipes in danger of freezing. This is even more important to remember if you have water pipelines running through your garage.
We hope you find this list helpful and remember that Culligan Water of Northeast Kansas is here to help you with all of your water purification needs. Check out our home filtration systems to ensure that the water flowing through the pipes in your home is clean, pure, and good for your body and skin.