The winter months can be brutal on your home. While snowball fights and the occasional day off of work provide bright spots in a dull and dreary winter, problems like frozen pipes can cause substantial damage and lead to thousands of dollars in repairs.
No one wants to deal with a burst pipe in the dead of winter, and preventing this nightmare is way more affordable than repairing the damage after a pipe bursts.
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Being cut off from your water supply immediately disrupts your daily routine. From drinking and cooking to showering, laundry and much more, we need water for nearly everything. When your pipes are frozen, you immediately lose access to water. If your frozen pipes burst, you’ll find yourself dealing with considerable water damage and a plumbing emergency that could cost you thousands.
Here’s what you need to do to prevent frozen pipes:
Before Temperatures Drop Below Freezing
- Insulate your water pipes. Foam insulation tubes are extremely affordable, and they’re available at any hardware store. It’s especially important to insulate pipes in unheated parts of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces and garages.
- Heat tapes and cables work as alternatives to insulation. Make sure that product you choose has earned the UL seal of approval, and follow the instructions carefully when installing it to prevent fires.
- Check for areas where cold air could be entering your home, especially in places like kitchens and bathrooms. If you find any holes or gaps, fill them using loose insulation, caulk or expanding spray foam.
During Cold Weather
- When outside temperatures are below freezing, keep your home warmer than 55 degrees, even if you aren’t home.
- Open cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom, especially under the sinks. This allows the warm air in your home to circulate around your pipes.
- Run a little water through your lines. Even a trickle is often enough to prevent ice crystals from forming.
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze
Frozen pipes are a plumbing emergency. It’s important to get them thawed out right away to prevent them from bursting. Never use a flame to thaw pipes! If you are dealing with frozen pipes in the Hagerstown area, your best bet is to call a professional. For expert plumbing repair in Hagerstown, call Larry & Sons at 301-733-5428.