As the winter chill sets in, homeowners must protect their homes from damage that can be caused by freezing temperatures. One of the most common issues during winter is frozen pipes, which can lead to costly repairs and water damage. In this blog post, we'll explore practical tips to help you prevent frozen pipes and ensure a cozy, stress-free winter in your residential setting.
1. Heat Tape and Insulation
Begin by identifying the pipes most susceptible to freezing, typically those in unheated or poorly insulated areas such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces. Use foam insulation sleeves or heat tape to wrap these pipes and provide an extra layer of protection against the cold.
Here is our comprehensive guide to the pros and cons of using heat tape to determine if this is a good option for you: Unraveling the Pros and Cons of Heat Tape.
Here's a video about selecting and installing heat tape in your home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBkUs57Ub94
2. Seal Leaks and Cracks
Cold air can easily find its way into your home through tiny openings. Inspect your home for any gaps, cracks, or leaks in windows, doors, and walls. Seal these openings with weather stripping or caulk to prevent the intrusion of cold air and keep the temperature inside more stable.
3. Keep a Consistent Temperature
Maintain a consistent temperature in your home, especially during extremely cold nights. Set your thermostat to at least 55° Fahrenheit, even if you're away, to ensure that your pipes stay warm enough to resist freezing. Most households keep thermostats set somewhere between 68°F and 72°F.
4. Open Cabinet Doors
Allow warm air to access pipes located in cabinets by keeping the cabinet doors open. This is particularly important for pipes under sinks along exterior walls, as the increased airflow can help prevent them from freezing.
5. Drip Faucets
On extremely cold nights, allowing faucets to drip slightly can relieve pressure in the pipes and reduce the risk of freezing. Moving water is less likely to freeze than stagnant water, making this a simple yet effective preventative measure.
6. Disconnect and Drain Outdoor Hoses
Before winter arrives, disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses. If possible, shut off the water supply to outdoor faucets and leave them open to allow any remaining water to drain out, preventing freezing and potential damage.
7. Use Space Heaters
For areas of your home more prone to freezing, like a basement or crawl space, use space heaters to protect your pipes from freezing. We recommend leaving these on when the temperatures are expected to be extreme, like during winter storms or harsh nights. This will keep the space warm and prevent frozen pipes.
8. Be Prepared for Vacations
If you plan to be away during the winter, take extra precautions. Keep your thermostat set to a minimum temperature of 50°F, ask a neighbor to check on your home periodically, and consider shutting off the water supply to the house.
By taking these proactive steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of frozen pipes and the headaches that come with them. Winter-proofing your home is an investment in the longevity and functionality of your plumbing system, ensuring a warm and worry-free winter for you and your family. Stay cozy, stay prepared!
Have Frozen Pipes or Need Plumbing Repairs? Call Greene's!
The Greene's Team is here for you- Call our office at 419-443-8630. We take our emergency services seriously and understand no heat and no water during winter can be dangerous for you and your family. We'll do everything we can to get your plumbing back up and running the way it should, so you can get back to enjoying the holidays with your family.