Brrr, it’s cold outside! This means your home is taking the brunt of the weather to keep you snug indoors, and your pipes often take a beating when exposed to cold temps. To help keep your pipes from freezing – which can lead to costly repairs – Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® professionals offers a few simple tips:
Allow the faucet to drip. Keeping water moving will prevent pressure from building up and keep the pipe from bursting. This is typically good for short-term fixes like overnight when the temperature lowers to freezing, and you are still home. That way, you can still turn the water off during the day and limit your water usage. A few pennies spent on water overnight is better than salvaging water damage after a burst pipe.
Keep inside doors and cabinet doors open. A lesser known trick, but an easy one. A closed cabinet door essentially seals your pipes in a refrigerator. The open doors help air flow move and let the heat from the rest of the house help avoid frozen pipes.
Add extra insulation. Keep your pipes warm by using formal pipe insulation or newspaper. Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold; if you have had a problem with frozen pipes anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the answer.
Seal up cracks and holes. You should caulk any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in. A simple project that can make a big difference!
Know the signs of frozen pipes and call a plumber immediately if you expect your pipes have frozen. If you notice frost on your exposed pipes, such as the ones in unheated garages, crawl spaces and attics – or if it’s below freezing outside and you experience slow or uneven water supply – there’s a good chance your pipes are frozen or in the process of freezing. Go to the home’s main water valve and shut it off immediately, and call a plumber.