Here Are Some Tips to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
Updated: Jan 3, 2022
As colder temperatures approach, you want to make sure your home is prepared and want to avoid any possible damages that can happen. We've pulled together some tips to help you prevent frozen pipes and suggestions in case they do freeze.
FACT: Burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage claims.
First on your list is to contact your Home Owners/ Renters Insurance and verify that you are covered and the average time frame to help repair damages if they do occur. A burst pipe can cause damages ranging from more than $5,000 in water damage, so make sure you check your coverages.
Start by setting the thermostat at a comfortable heating degree. This helps prevent pipes from freezing throughout your home. We recommend 70°F degrees, just as long as it does not go below 55°F degrees you're good. If you plan to be away during the cold weather, leave the heat on in your home and keep it above 55° F degrees. Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day & night.
Leaving your faucets to drip helps relieve the pressure that is built up inside the system and the movement will make it harder for water to freeze in your pipes.
If a pipe happens to get broken, turn off the water at the main water shutoff valve. See if you could locate where the pipe broke, call the plumber, insurance, and a restoration company to help dry out any water damage. Make sure you save all your information in one place from the plumber and restoration for your insurance adjuster.
If when you turn the faucet on and you are only getting a trickle of water, then you have a frozen pipe. Try applying heat to the section of the pipe if possible. You can use for instance; an electric hairdryer, a portable space heater (just make sure nothing flammable is near), or by wrapping soaked hot towels ( get a towel wet and place in microwave to heat or boil some water). DO NOT use anything else other than what is mentioned to use, you don't want to start a fire or cause more damage to the pipe.
Make sure to disconnect hoses from outside of your home, and drain them before you store them. Drain water from pipes that connect to your pool and/or your sprinkler water supply lines. All this is to ensure the prevention of any type of damage to your home from the freezing weather.
Insulate any exterior exposed pipes with Foam Pipe Insulation or if you have any pool noodles made from foam, those have been a great alternative. Don't forget to protect your exterior spigots/faucets with Faucet Covers.
Seal any cracks or holes to help prevent any drafts of cold air. Be sure to install weather stripping around doors, windows, and any window units where cold air could seep through. Even the smallest crack/hole can allow cold air, so check electrical sockets/switches. Any gaps between plumbing pipes and walls, you would need to fill those with caulking.
TIP: Test your detectors! Fires are more common in the winter and you want to make sure your smoke detectors work properly. If you have gas appliances or heaters, make sure your home is also equipped with Carbon Monoxide Detectors as well. Monthly maintenance is preferred, by checking batteries and making sure they are working properly.
Opening cabinets doors beneath the kitchen and bathroom sink allow warm air to reach the pipes and prevent them from freezing.
Keeping the garage door closed helps keep the cold out and prevents cold air from affecting any plumbing between the garage and inside your home.
If you plan not to be home during the freezing weather, turn the water off at the main shutoff valve. Make sure to run any remaining water inside to avoid any getting frozen pipes from bursting.
Call a licensed plumber if nothing else works and you do not have access to the frozen pipes (because if one froze then maybe a few others could have as well).