How Can I Prevent Pipes From Freezing?

As the colder temperatures of winter have arrived, it’s important to keep your plumbing and heating system in mind. Protecting your pipes from freezing is one of the most crucial tasks. When the temperatures drop low enough, the water inside can freeze, causing the pressure inside to build up, eventually causing them to burst.  Burst pipes can be quite a costly repair, not to mention the mess and water damage that could occur. Keeping your pipes warm enough to stay above the freezing point is crucial. Use the following tips to learn some of the preventative steps you can take to protect your pipes.

Insulation & Heating Tape 

Many of your system’s pipes are located in areas that are not fully insulated such as basements or attics. Adding extra insulation is ones of the best ways to keep pipes from freezing. An easy solution is fitting your exposed pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves. Heating tape is also a good solution for pipes that are easily accessible. The tape supplies direct heat to the pipes when necessary during cold spells. However, pipes that are in the walls, floors, or ceilings may be more difficult to reach. In this case, adding insulation on the inside of the walls may be necessary. Insulation helps to keep the water inside the pipes at a warmer temperature to prevent freezing. 

Seal Cracks & Holes 

It’s crucial to ensure that all gaps or holes where pipes run through the walls or floors are sealed. If cold air is getting in, there’s a much greater chance of your pipes freezing. Use caulking to seal the gaps on both the interior and exterior to preserve as much heat as possible. This is a simple step that can make a big difference in the temperature of your pipes. 

What to do if You’re Going on Vacation

If you’ll be leaving the house for a few days for a vacation, it’s important to take preventative measures, especially if the forecast is showing freezing temperatures. Although it might seem counterproductive to leave your heat on while no one’s home, it’s necessary to keep it on in order to keep your pipes at a warm enough temperature. You can also leave a faucet dripping slowly, as running water through the pipes helps to keep them warm. You may also want to keep interior doors open, such as cabinet doors, as many pipes are located behind the cabinets. This lets the heat from the rest of the house warm the pipes up. 

If you have issues with frozen pipes or lack of heat this winter give Al Terry Plumbing, Heating & AC a call! We’re available for emergency services 24/7/365.

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