Wintertime is a nightmare for homeowners, especially where plumbing is concerned. It’s all too easy for pipes to freeze and wreak havoc on their home. When you have broken and frozen pipes, it can become incredibly time-consuming and expensive to repair the problem. For this reason, it is imperative that you attempt to safeguard your pipes against freezing during the year’s coldest months. Below, we’ll tell you how you can minimize the risk of broken and frozen pipes in the winter.
5 Tips to Prevent Broken and Frozen Pipes During Winter
Wintertime brings incredibly cold temperatures, and not every plumbing system is as guarded against the chill as it should be. Even interior pipes can be jeopardized by the extreme cold. While you have no control over the weather, you can control how you protect your pipes from plummeting temperatures.
Open Your Cabinets
You probably have pipes running through a cabinet in your kitchen and/or bathroom. When the temperatures get frigid, open the cabinets to allow more warm air to circulate around the plumbing system. This is especially important if the pipes are on an exterior-facing wall.
Let Your Faucets Drip
You don’t need to turn your water on high pressure. A small trickle, even a tiny drip, is enough to help prevent broken and frozen pipes in wintertime.
Keep Your Heat On – and Consistent
Whether you plan to be at home or not, it’s best that you keep your thermostat turned up in response to colder weather. It only makes sense that a warmer interior will help keep your pipes warmer, right? Now is not the time to turn down the thermostat to save on your energy bill. Put your heat on, keep it on, and don’t dial down the thermostat. The last thing you want is to lower the heat setting at night only to find that your pipes have frozen and broken by morning.
Insulation is the Best Long-Term Solution
If you’re worried about pipes freezing in the winter, the best thing you can do is to make sure that your home is properly insulated – including the basement and the attic. Make sure that everything is sealed properly to prevent drafts from chilling your pipes.
Insulating your pipes can be a difficult task for the inexperienced, so it may be worth it to call in a professional contractor before the seasons get ice-cold.
Use a Space Heater
Only do this if necessary! Winter brings its fair share of unpleasant surprises, so you might not have yet prepared your pipes for the season. A space heater can provide impromptu heat in a room that may be at risk, like a kitchen that’s adjacent to the exterior of the home. We advise that you not use a space heater in a bathroom, except perhaps in an emergency. If you do use a space heater, make sure to plug it directly into a ground-fault circuit interrupter – and never use an extension cord!
Safeguarding your home from broken and frozen pipes in winter is a big responsibility, but it is absolutely essential. If you know that your home is in need of help in preparing for the upcoming winter season, reach out to the professionals in your area today!