Freezing temperatures are not only brutally uncomfortable; they also pose a significant risk to your pipes. As the water in your pipes freeze, the exponential increase in pressure can result in pipes bursting and causing serious damage to your home. These tips can keep your plumbing system safe this winter.
Before Winter Arrives:
- Insulate your pipes: Purchasing insulation designed specifically for your plumbing system is the number one way to prevent your pipes from freezing. Commonly made from fiberglass, foam, or polyethylene, pipe insulation is a simple, inexpensive fix that provides superior protection for your plumbing.
- Use heating tape in unheated or exterior areas of your home: Applying heating tape directly to easily accessible piping in your attic, basement, or garage assists in retaining heat. Self-monitoring heating tape features an integrated sensor that turns the appliance on and off based on whether the pipe requires more heat. Manual heating tape needs you to unplug it when the pipe becomes warm.
- Seal cracks, holes, or other openings: Assess your home for cracks, holes, and other openings that could allow outside air drafts to enter your home and use caulk to form a tight seal. Focus on the areas around piping, windows, door frames, cable holes, sill plates, and the areas where your home meets the foundation.
During Winter Months:
- Keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature: Some homeowners lower their thermostat at night in an attempt to cut costs on their heating bill, but this strategy can easily result in a burst pipe. Keep your thermostat settings consistent throughout the day and night and avoid sudden changes.
- Leave your heat running when you’re not home: If you will be leaving your house empty for an extended period of time, keep your thermostat set at 55 degrees or higher.
- Allow your faucets to drip: Find out which faucets are supplied by exposed piping and leave them on during especially cold temperatures. Keeping a few faucets running at a small trickle allows the running water to produce constant movement, resulting in the creation of heat and relieving the buildup of pressure.
- Keep interior doors open as much as possible: This encourages the steady, even distribution of heat throughout your entire home and is especially helpful during cold snaps. Many homes include pipework in or behind the cabinets of your kitchen and bathroom, so open cabinet doors periodically to allow for warm air circulation.
- Close garage doors: Many homes have water supply lines that run through the garage, so an open door in an already cold space will leave them even more exposed to freezing temperatures.
For more information on how to prevent bursting pipes this winter, contact the professionals at Mr. Rooter by calling (360) 339-4640. We can inspect your home for vulnerabilities and offer recommendations for ensuring you are prepared to handle freezing Washington temperatures.