The cold weather does more than just threaten your personal comfort. It can cause damage to your property as well. A frozen pipe can occur anywhere in or around your house as long as temperatures reach below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Frozen pipes build up pressure that can lead to the pipe's rupture. If this happens, severe water damage can occur as a result. Moreover, once the ice thaws within the pipes, it can start to flood. You need to know how to prevent frozen pipes.
- Keep the temperature above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep your garage doors closed.
- Keep any cabinet doors with pipes behind them open; that space is not well-insulated.
- Make sure you have sufficient insulation in your attic and basement.
- Keep your gutters clean to prevent snow from building up.
- Always keep a trickle of water running during especially cold nights. Running water won't be able to freeze.
- Apply heating tape to any pipe that is directly exposed to the cold. The flow pipes outside your house should have heating tape wrapped around them.
- Check for any cracked pipes. You don't want these pipes to freeze. If you notice any moisture around pipes in crawl spaces, arrange to have them looked at.
- Make sure you know where the main water shut-off is. You may have to use that at times.
- If it is possible, reroute any water pipes that are in crawl spaces or the attic and have them go through heated areas of the house. New houses should already have this design, but older houses may not.
What to do if your pipes are frozen
If you suspect that one of your pipes is frozen, identify it, and immediately apply some sort of heat source on it. Some people use electric heaters, and other people just use a hair dryer until the water thaws.
Going on a trip
If you are leaving for a trip, make sure you shut off the main water line, and let the remaining water drain out of the pipes. To let the water drain, you need to make sure each faucet is open, and let the water out until it is fully drained.
Additionally, as an extra safeguard, you may want to consider leaving the heat on while you are away. Sixty-three degrees should be ideal while you are away. You might not save much money on your electric bill, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Now that you know how to prevent frozen pipes, make sure you take care of your home. Ignoring this problem and pretending that it is not a huge concern can lead to devastating results.
For any further questions or frozen pipe emergency repairs, contact Johns Plumbing.