Winter can be rough on your home, especially if you live in an area that regularly experiences below-freezing temperatures during the winter season. As pipes get colder and colder, there’s always the risk that they’ll freeze, potentially causing them to burst and causing major damage to your property. To avoid frozen pipes and potential water damage, follow these 5 tips to prevent frozen pipes this winter.
# 1 Turn off indoor and outdoor water spigots
One of your house’s biggest enemies during the cold winter months is frozen pipes. Water expands when it freezes, which causes pipes to burst. Turn off all indoor and outdoor water spigots if you think freezing temperatures are approaching. If your pipes do freeze, try thawing them with a hairdryer or heating pads before calling a plumber.
#2 Insulate Your Home
One way to prevent frozen pipes is by insulating your home well. Be sure to wrap pipes in a thick layer of insulation. Make sure you don’t cover any exposed pipes with insulation; instead, leave those pipes accessible so you can check for signs of freezing during cold spells.
#3 Keep Your Thermostat Steady
If you’re heading out of town or leaving your home for an extended period of time, set your thermostat to 55 degrees. When you return, make sure it’s back up to a comfortable temperature. If you tend to go on extended vacations during winter, consider having someone come and stay in your home at night (for an hourly fee) while temperatures drop during winter.
#4 Check On Your Home Often
One of the easiest ways to avoid frozen pipes is to check on your home often. When you see outdoor temperatures drop well below freezing, take a look at any exposed pipes in your home. If they’re starting to show signs of frost or ice buildup, it may be time for precautionary measures like adding an extra blanket around each pipe. In more extreme conditions, you can use heat lamps or de-icing sprays on vulnerable areas such as water meter boxes and hose bibs.
#5 Know When to Call a Plumber
When it comes to frozen pipes, remember that prevention is key. For example, you can wrap your pipes in heat tape or consider using more insulation. Also, when temperatures plummet below zero outside, turn off outdoor faucets and disconnect hoses from your house. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, make sure it’s turned off and drained before freezing temperatures hit.. Finally, if possible, keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees Fahrenheit—even if you plan on being home all day. That way, if a pipe does burst (which is less likely to happen at warmer temperatures), it won’t freeze up again overnight once you do notice a problem. That said, if a pipe does freeze despite all these precautions...it might be time to call a professional plumber!
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