As the winter weather approaches, it’s important to take steps to protect your plumbing and prevent your pipes from freezing. When water in pipes freeze, it expands, putting pressure on the pipes and potentially causing them to burst. This can lead to costly repairs and property damage. Here are some tips on how to keep pipes from freezing:
- Insulate your pipes: One of the most effective ways to prevent pipes from freezing is to insulate them. This will help to keep the water in the pipes warm and prevent it from freezing. You can use pipe insulation sleeves or wrap your pipes with heat tape. It’s important to pay particular attention to pipes that are located in unheated areas of your home, such as the attic, basement, or garage.
- Seal up any cracks or openings: Another way to prevent pipes from freezing is to seal up any cracks or openings in your home that might allow cold air to reach your pipes. This can include sealing up gaps around windows and doors, as well as insulating your walls and attic.
- Disconnect your garden hoses: If you have outdoor faucets, make sure to disconnect your garden hoses and drain the water from the spigot. If water is left in the hose, it can freeze and cause the pipe leading to the faucet to burst.
- Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature: It’s important to keep your thermostat set to the same temperature, both during the day and at night. If you turn it down too low, it can cause your pipes to freeze.
- Open your cabinets: If you have pipes located under your kitchen or bathroom sink, consider opening the cabinets to allow the warm air from your home to circulate around the pipes. This can help to prevent the pipes from freezing.
- Use a heating tape: Heating tape is an electric tape that can be wrapped around your pipes to provide heat and prevent them from freezing. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using heating tape, and be sure to turn it off when you’re not at home.
- Let your faucets drip: If you’re concerned about your pipes freezing, you can let your faucets drip slightly. This will help to keep a small amount of water moving through the pipes, which can help to prevent them from freezing.
- Keep your garage door closed: If you have pipes running through your garage, make sure to keep the garage door closed as much as possible. This will help to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, which can help to prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Use a portable heater: If you have pipes in an unheated area of your home, such as the basement or attic, consider using a portable heater to keep the area warm. This will help to prevent the pipes from freezing.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter. Remember to also keep an eye on the forecast and take extra precautions if extreme cold temperatures are expected. If you do end up with frozen pipes, it’s important to thaw them as soon as possible to prevent them from bursting. If you’re unable to thaw the pipes yourself, it’s best to call a plumber for help.
By taking the necessary precautions and being proactive, you can help to protect your plumbing and keep your pipes from freezing this winter.