Frozen pipes can be a major inconvenience and can cause serious damage to your home if not addressed promptly. Water expands as it freezes, which can cause pipes to burst and result in costly repairs.
The damage caused can lead to having no water running through your house. Alongside this, you will be left with huge costs to repair, and you like likely need to call out a plumber or a facility management company. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting during cold weather.
Keep Your Home Warm
One of the most effective ways to prevent frozen pipes is to keep your home warm. This can be achieved by:
- Setting your thermostat to a consistent temperature
- Sealing any drafts around windows and doors
- Adding insulation to your attic and walls
If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, it is especially important to set your thermostat to a temperature that is high enough to prevent your pipes from freezing. It might even be worth asking a trusting neighbour or family member to check on the house every couple of days to ensure that the heating is working properly.
Keep Water Moving Through Your Pipes
Another way to prevent frozen pipes is to allow a steady stream of warm water to flow through your pipes. This can be achieved by:
- Opening the faucets slightly and letting them drip
- Leaving your cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach your pipes
This will help to keep the water moving, which can prevent it from freezing. You should also consider leaving your cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach your pipes. This is especially important for pipes that are located in unheated areas of your home, such as your basement or crawl space.
Disconnect and Store Garden Hoses
It is also a good idea to disconnect any garden hoses and store them inside during the winter months. This will help to prevent water from remaining in the hose and freezing, which can cause the hose to burst. This will be a disaster in the summertime when you want to begin gardening again.
Install Pipe Insulation or Heat Tape
If you live in an area that is prone to freezing temperatures, you may want to consider installing pipe insulation or heat tape on your pipes. Pipe insulation is a foam material that is designed to fit around your pipes and keep them warm. Heat tape is a special tape that is equipped with an electric heating element. When plugged in, the heat tape will generate warmth and help to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Keep Cold Air Out
Another effective way to prevent frozen pipes is to keep your pipes from freezing in the first place. This can be achieved by:
- Sealing any cracks or gaps in your walls or foundation, which can allow cold air to seep in and reach your pipes
- Making sure that your pipes are well insulated, especially if they are located in unheated areas of your home
Have a Plan in Place
Finally, it is a good idea to be prepared for the possibility of frozen pipes, even if you have taken all of the necessary precautions. This means having a plan in place in case your pipes do freeze. This can include:
- Having a backup plan for your water supply, such as a supply of bottled water or a backup water source
- Knowing where your main water shut-off valve is located, in case you need to turn off the water to your home in an emergency
By following these simple steps, you can help to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting during cold weather. While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of frozen pipes, taking the necessary precautions can help to minimize the chances of this occurring and help to protect your home from costly damages.