While many of us spent most of December decking the halls, there’s a chance you got a little lost in the décor and forgot this important winter home prep. While staying on top of your plumbing is important all year long, it’s especially important when temperatures dip below freezing. Let’s not encourage the winter blues with some serious pipe issues this year.
Frozen pipes not only deprive your home of its water supply until they’re completely thawed, but if also not treated quickly enough, ruptures can cause catastrophic water damage — and major costs.
If you haven’t prepared your pipes for the winter yet, don’t worry. It’s not too late to improve your plumbing system and avoid expensive repairs. Here are five quick tips what you can do now to prepare your pipes for the winter weather.
There are several water lines around the exterior of a house that can cause pipe problems. To avoid any flooding this winter, start with outdoor water sources. Disconnect and drain all hoses, as these can freeze and lead to a buildup of pressure that will cause pipe bursts. You should also drain the water supply to any faucets of your outdoor living spaces and make sure they run dry. Then protect your outdoor pipes from freezing by adding insulation, such as an outdoor faucet cover, that you can buy online or at any home improvement store.
Pipes in areas like your attic, crawl space, or garage have a much easier chance of freezing especially when temperatures drop below 20 degrees. Utilizing heat cables or insulating these spaces will better protect your pipes from the cold and prevent them from causing damage in other areas of your home too. Insulation is easy to find, affordable, and simple to set up. And when paired with heat cables, you can rest assured your pipes are nice and warm.
Keep Your Home Warm
The best way to fight the cold is to simply keep your home warm. Maintaining a temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit all winter is your best bet in avoiding potential pipe bursts. If you have zoned heating, be cognizant of your thermostats during the winter. And if you’re going out of town, make sure you don’t turn your heat off.
Check around doors, windows, electrical wiring, and plumbing to make sure there are no air leaks making your heat work harder than it has to. Seal any leaks you do find with caulking, weatherstripping, or insulation where needed. And make sure you don’t leave the garage open, allowing cold air to affect the plumbing on neighboring walls.
Let the Water Run
On extra cold nights, a simple trick to avoid frozen pipes is to let your faucets drip. Pipes burst when water freezes and expands, which can be prevented when the water continues to flow. Let your taps along exterior walls drip through the cold. This eliminates the pressure that can build between your faucet and any ice blockage that may form.
Heads-up: If you notice the water pressure drops on one of your running taps, it’s a sign that your pipes are starting to freeze.
Open Door and Cabinets
If the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks within cabinets, they’re often isolated from your home’s air flow. By opening these cabinets regularly, the warm air is better able to reach your pipes. It’s an easy task to keep your pipes warm enough to prevent ice buildup.
Your home should be your private escape from the cold this winter. Don’t let a frozen pipe ruin that for you and your family. If you want to avoid any major issues, make sure to incorporate these simple, preventative steps into your daily routine.
Need help catching up on this winter prep? Madsen is here for you! Our high-quality plumbing services will ensure that your pipes run smoothly all winter long. Contact us today to find the best solution for your home.