Which Pipes are Most Likely to Freeze?
While most of your water pipes are located in the heated parts of your home, any plumbing that runs on the exterior or in poorly insulated areas is at risk of freezing over and costing you thousands in cleanup and repair costs. When the water inside these pipes freezes, it expands, pushing at the constraints of the piping. If it expands too much, it can actually create breaks and cracks in the pipes. Then, when the water melts, it starts flooding your home, leaving you with damage that you may not even be able to detect until it’s too late. Even a small quarter-inch break can spill 250 gallons a day!
While it’s best practice to inspect all of your pipes, you need to be the most concerned about pipes running anywhere cold. Pipes in unsealed crawl spaces, uninsulated attics, garages, or along exterior walls are the most at risk. Sometimes if your walls are insufficiently insulated, pipes inside cabinets that run along these walls could freeze. Do you feel a cold draft when you open cabinets secured to exterior walls? Keep an eye on the pipes inside.
Before the temperature drops take precautionary measures
You know where your pipes are most likely to freeze. Now, take some steps to keep that from happening. Shut off inside valves that supply water to outdoor water hookups and spigots. Open these hose bibs to allow any water inside to drain out, and leave them open. If you know that a pipe is poorly insulated, use a handy product like a pipe-sleeve, or UL-listed heating cable to keep it warm. The American Red Cross reports that even a ¼ inch of newspaper wrapped around your pipes can make a noticeable difference (if the pipe isn’t in prolonged freezing temperatures).
Simple & Quick Ways To Prevent Frozen Water Pipes?
Needless to say, cleaning up after water damage like that can be expensive and time-consuming. Luckily, frozen pipe floods are entirely avoidable with a little bit of preparation. Here are a few Simple & Quick ways to prevent frozen water pipes in your home this winter:
- Locate any exposed or exterior piping and insulate it! Wrap your vulnerable water pipes with any kind of insulating material - bath towels will even work in a pinch!
- Close the garage! If there are any water supply lines in the garage, keeping all doors closed will help keep heat inside.
- Keep the thermostat steady! Don’t lower the temperature at night, since the temperature fluctuation can increase your chance of freezing pipes.
- Let your faucets drip! When the temps fall to ridiculously cold levels, keeping the water flowing in your faucets will help prevent it from sitting in the pipes and freezing. A slow drip may slightly increase your water bill but will save you thousands in water damage repair costs!
- Headed to Florida? Keep your home higher than 55℉! If you can’t take the cold anymore ( who could blame you) and head for a more agreeable climate, keep the heat at 55℉ or higher. The last thing you want to come home to is a flooded basement!
A little bit of prevention now will go a long way towards avoiding flood damage this winter, saving you time, money, and headaches.
Keep a few key phone numbers in an accessible place.
You don’t want to waste time comparing plumbers while your family heirlooms float past your feet. Write down the number of a trusted plumber somewhere readily available. Put your insurance agent’s line down as well. Finally, remember that Modernistic’s IICRC certified technicians are available 24/7 with a lightning fast response time. Contact us any time of night or day—we’re ready to bail you out (literally). Helping homes recover from frozen pipe damage in Battle Creek, Michigan, for 40 years.