Winter often means bundling up and adding on extra layers. For homeowners, the season can also bring extra responsibilities. When temperatures dip below the freezing mark, pipes can freeze and lead to other, more serious problems.
How To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing This Winter
Since the possibility of freezing pipes only happens once a year, and relatively infrequently in warmer climates, it can be difficult to remember exactly what to do to minimize any potential damage to your home. Here at ABC Home & Commercial Services, we want to help make things easier on homeowners all year long. Read our list of tips and steps you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing over below.
Inspect Your Home
Homeowners often ask us how to keep pipes from freezing without heat. The answer is that the same tips for keeping your pipes from freezing can also protect your home if you lose power and lose heat. The first step you’ll want to take is identifying ‘at risk’ pipes around your home. Due to constant weather exposure, pipes that freeze most frequently are those that remain outdoors. These includes outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, attics, and garages.
To ensure you’ve identified all pipes that could potentially freeze, walk around the exterior of your home and in any unheated room indoors. Once you’ve selected the problematic pipes, remove, drain, and store those that can be disconnected.
Check Your Water
If the forecast signals colder weather, take preventative steps to avoid any problems with your water. If you are wondering how to keep pipes from freezing in a vacant house, the best way is to turn off the home’s water supply, wrap your pipes, and keep the house heated to a low temperature. If you are at home, you can turn it off while you sleep at night. That way, any breaks or spillage is limited to the small amount of water in your pipes.
You can also allow a few faucets to drip slightly to keep pipes running with water. The water should be lukewarm to maximize effectiveness. Since the first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from faucets, this tactic is a good way to keep an eye out for any freezing.
Allow For Airflow
Many pipes are located behind closed doors and are situated near an exterior wall in your home. For example, pipes connected to your kitchen sink are hidden behind cabinets and, more often than not, connected to an exterior wall. While it might not seem significant, most cabinets aren’t insulated and exterior walls are often colder than others. As a result, temperatures are colder and pipes are subject to freezing.
To avoid freezing, leave cabinet doors open. This will keep warmer air circulating and help avoid any freezing. Do the same in bathrooms. Alternatively, keep doors to rooms without plumbing closed. This will direct the heat in your home to the rooms that need it most—in other words, the rooms with water pipes.
If your home is at risk of freezing pipes, think about installing specifics products that are made to protect pipes during colder months.
Some products, like a pipe sleeve or heat tape, can protect exposed water pipes by regulating the pipes’ temperature. Other products, like a heat cable, can be wrapped around the pipe or run alongside it. These products are simple to install and can typically be found at your local home center. If not, your local home service company will have them.
An alternative to the aforementioned products is a space heater. Placing an electric heater near unprotected pipes can regulate their temperatures and keep them from freezing.
Though these products might cost you a little extra money upfront, they’ll save you cash in the long run. At the end of the day, learning how to prevent water pipes from freezing is far less expensive and time-consuming than repairing frozen or broken pipes.
Rely on the Pros To Keep You Warm This Winter
The best time to take preventative measures for the winter is before the coldest time of year begins. That said, you can always take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing. Some tasks are better left up to the professionals.
You can rely on the skilled and highly trained technicians at ABC Home & Commercial to inspect your home and make sure your heating system—and your pipes—are working efficiently and properly. Protect your biggest investment by making sure your home is ready for the year’s coldest months.