Once temperatures drop, your home’s pipes, faucets, and other fixtures are vulnerable to freezing. When the water in your piping system freezes, it expands, which puts tremendous pressure on the pipes supplying water to your house. Whether you have plastic or metal pipes, they are prone to breaking and bursting due to water expansion. This can result in plumbing and structural damages that are expensive to repair.
Therefore, as we approach the cold winter months, you need to understand the effective measure to prevent frozen pipes. Some of the piping likely to freeze are the supply pipes located in unheated areas like the attic, crawl spaces, and garage. Pipes with little insulation or those exposed to the severe cold outside your house, like water sprinkler lines and hose bibs, are also at a higher risk of freezing. Below are effective measures that we recommend to prevent frozen pipes and keep water running when temperatures plummet.
1. Adjust Thermostat Settings
During a cold snap, setting your thermostats at an even temperature at all times is an effective way to prevent your pipes from freezing. If you have multiple heating zones, ensure your home’s temperature doesn’t get lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent ice blockages. Although many people prefer lowering their thermostat setting in the evening to save on energy bills, this might not be a good idea when it’s frigid. You may have burst pipes resulting in more expensive losses compared to a slight increase in your bill. Even if you plan to go on vacation or you’ll be away from home, set the temperatures at about 50 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The steady temperatures keep pipes free of ice and the water flowing.
2. Insulate Your Pipes
Insulation is an effective solution for pipes located in areas such as the attic or basement. Also, if pipes in other areas of your home have frozen in previous winter seasons, consider adding extra insulation. Insulating your pipes is a worthy investment compared to the cost you would incur if a pipe bursts. Our trained team pays attention to interior spaces and the unheated areas around your home. We can use foam, fiberglass, and polyethylene to act as a buffer against low temperatures. This will keep pipes closer to the water temperature flowing inside. Also, if your home has plumbing in exterior walls, we can add a layer of insulation to offer extra protection on your pipes.
3. Seal Air Leaks and Cracks
Another vital tip to prevent frozen pipes is to patch up any drafty areas in your house. If there are leaks or gaps between the interior and the exterior of your building, cold air can penetrate your indoors and lower the temperatures around your pipes. This may lead to freezing in your plumbing system or even bursting in some worse cases. Sealing the gaps running through floors or walls or around door and window frames will help keep your home warm and prevent pipe freezing.
4. Let Faucets Drip
Something as simple as allowing a faucet to drip is a great way to prevent pipes from freezing. You don’t have to leave all the faucets in your home open. Just determine those fed by exposed piping, and then leave the faucets dripping during the cold weather. Again, you only need a slow drip instead of running taps at full blast. Even if it’s a very light stream, it will help to relieve pressure in your home’s water system. When pressure doesn’t build up between a faucet and a blockage, the pipes won’t burst. In case you have a faucet supplied by both cold and hot water pipes, open both taps.
5. Open Cabinets and Other Interior Doors
In many homes, there are pipes inside kitchen cabinets and cupboards. The pipes can freeze when these areas get insufficient heat during the cold season. A simple way to prevent frozen pipes is to open the doors. This way, the heated air in your house will circulate in the cabinets and cupboards and warm the pipes, preventing pressure buildups and ice blockages. If there is a sudden drop in temperatures around your home or you expect a very cold night, open the cabinet doors to keep the pipes warm. Also, keep cabinet doors located along exterior walls open because they can easily freeze since they are closer to the cold outdoors. In case the problem persists, call our professionals to look into the issue and recommend other measures.
6. Close Garage Doors
Do you have water supply pipes that are uninsulated running through your garage? If you leave the garage door open during cold days, these pipes can freeze due to exposure to extremely low outside temperatures. In fact, these pipes have a higher likelihood of bursting since they have a direct line to the frigid temperatures, and the smooth concrete in most garages keeps the space cold. Therefore, keep the garage door closed and only open it when necessary. This also helps to maintain the warmth inside your house and prevent a sudden rise in energy bills.
7. Cover Crawl Spaces
If you expect an extremely cold winter season or your pipes often freeze when temperatures drop, you may temporarily have to seal crawl spaces. Look for any ventilation holes in crawl spaces and cover them using foam. This reduces the amount of cold air reaching your piping system, minimizing the risk of freezing.
8. Drain Outside Water Hoses
The pipelines and hoses leading into outdoor areas such as the garden or swimming pool are also at risk of freezing during the cold months. Therefore, as you protect the pipes in your indoor spaces, you should also worry about the other parts of your plumbing system. An effective way to protect your hoses is to drain and disconnect them from the spigots and then store them indoors, preferably in your garage before winter. You should also include water sprinklers because rubber hoses are also prone to freezing and can easily damage them. Also, close shut-off valves leading to outdoor hose bibs and leave the faucets outside your house open to drain.
Let Our Professionals Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
You don’t have to wait for the cold season to start thinking about the risk of frozen pipes in your home. Besides, burst pipes are frustrating and can lead to severe and expensive damage to your house. Implement the above measures to ensure your piping system is ready for the harsh winter temperatures. To get immediate help and the best outcome, you should contact someone experienced and knowledgeable about plumbing issues.
Environmental Heating & Air Solutions has been in business for over a decade and has become a trusted company by thousands of homeowners. We have BPI and NATE certifications and always aim to provide the best services to all customers. Our professionals are thoroughly trained on all emerging trends, so you can trust us to provide top-notch, efficient, and innovative results. We provide air duct cleaning, heating inspection, water leak protection, AC installation, home score testing, home automation, water heater replacement, air ventilation, air sealing, heating repair, carbon monoxide detection, AC maintenance, home insulation, and heating maintenance in Roseville.
Contact Environmental Heating & Air Solutions to schedule a service with the best professionals today.