Freezing weather can be particularly destructive for unprotected pipes and water lines around your home. Once frozen, pipes can break, causing lots of damage and potential flooding. It’s vital that homeowners should avoid this if they expect temperatures to drop below freezing! Here are a few important steps to follow before the coldest days arrive.
Close Valves for Outdoor Lines
Outdoor lines for sprinklers and water features are usually not well protected against frost and freezing weather. These systems can be very difficult to insulate, so the best thing to do is locate your water valves for these systems and shut them off. Typically, your outdoor lines will have separate valves to control water flow to only this system, so you don’t need to shut down water to your whole house. If you have sprinklers, it is common to “blow out” the lines to rid them of water first, which is usually a professional service.
Insulate Your Crawlspaces, Attics, Basements, Etc.
These are areas that can grow very cold in winter, but where pipes are common. If you have pipes that run through these areas, take a look and make sure that these pipes are wrapped in insulation. If not, you can easily purchase pipe insulation at a local department store and — with a bit of work — wrap exposed pipes to help protect them from the cold. This is also a good time to take a look at overall insulation in these areas.
Make Sure Your Garage Is Protected
Unless your garage is well insulated, the temperature here can also drop below freezing, especially in colder climates. There are generally two options here. The first is adding a heat source to help protect your garage. The second is shutting off water to any pipes in the garage, which may or may not be possible based on your plumbing system. You can always ask an expert if you aren’t sure!
Let It Drip
If you are expecting extremely cold nights (especially if you won’t be home during this time), then turn your cold side faucets onto a slow drip. Moving water won’t completely freeze, so this helps your pipes survive the worst times without experiencing damage. You can also open the cupboards under your sinks so that warmer air can circulate there more easily.
Treat Freezing Pipes Immediately
If your sinks have trouble producing water after a cold night, you probably have a frozen pipe problem. This requires instant action. You can help your pipes melt the ice inside before it does damage by wrapping them in warm rags, which you should replace every several minutes. If it becomes obvious that a pipe or valve is leaking, arrange for an immediate replacement before water damage can occur.
Want to learn more about protecting your pipes and dealing with freezing weather so your home stays safe this winter? Contact us today at Buckeye Heating & Cooling with any questions or to arrange a free estimate!