Have you taken the steps needed to keep pipes in your home from freezing in cold winter weather? When pipes freeze, the extra pressure within the pipes can cause them to burst, leading to water damage in the home. Here are a few simple ways you can keep your pipes warm and your home dry, even in the coldest of winters.
Keep thermostats in outbuildings and second homes at 65 degrees.
If you have a guest or pool house, or have a home with multiple heating zones, make sure to keep them all at a minimum of 65 degrees, to prevent frozen pipes in the winter months. For buildings that you won’t use at all in the winter, you can turn off the main water supply and drain the pipes instead.
Add insulation to outside walls that contain pipes.
Exterior walls can get much colder than inside walls. If you have plumbing in outside walls, you may want to add an extra layer of insulation to ensure that your pipes are protected. If you see moisture or mold on the interior wall surface, surface cracks or nail pops, or your walls feel cool to the touch, consider reinsulating or using spray foam to add protection.
Use snap-on insulation for pipes in unheated areas.
If you have plumbing that is routed through unheated areas like attics, crawl spaces, and garages, consider adding snap-on insulation to the pipes to prevent freezing. You can also use heated plumbing tape/cable that automatically turns on when temperatures approach freezing.
Install smart technology.
To further ensure that your home stays dry and water-damage-free, you can install the following:
Low temperature sensors that send alerts to your monitored alarm system if temperatures approach freezing. “Smart home” thermostats that you can monitor and control remotely
Permanent back-up generators that automatically power your heating system when you lose power
Water leak detection systems that automatically shut off your water if a leak occurs.
Disconnect hoses and protect outside spigots.
When water freezes in a hose that is attached to an outside spigot, it increases the pressure in the home’s pipes, which can then expand and burst inside the home. To prevent this, drain and disconnect all hoses, and turn off the water to outside spigots during the winter, especially if you don’t have frost-proof spigots. You may want to cap those spigots with facet insulators too.
How To Deal With Frozen Pipes
Switch off the power supply to that part of piping (or the entire home if that’s the only choice) before you do anything else, because the real difficulty comes after the thaw. This is because the ice may be serving as a stopper, stopping water from leaking from your pipes’ fractures. Water gushes out as that plug thaws. In the event of a plumbing leak, having a mop, bucket, and towels on hand is a smart idea.
To defrost the frozen pipe, use a space heater, heat light, or hair drier. Wrapping frozen pipes in thermostatically controlled heat tape (which ranges from $50 to $200 depending on length) is another quick solution to defrost a problem area.
Don’t use a propane torch to defrost pipes since it might cause a fire.
Let us know in the comments how do you deal with frozen pipes…