If you live in the northern part of the country, you know that burst frozen pipes cause significant damage to homes each year. But even if you live in the South you should protect both your plastic and metal pipes from freezing.
Pier-and-beam homes, homes with crawl spaces and under-insulated attics might need special attention since circulating frigid air will affect exposed pipes. Freezing water expands causing small cracks in water pipes. As water pressure returns, these small cracks allow water to escape into your home.
Lets Learn How to Avoid Frozen Pipes!
- Insulate before winter hits. Check the insulation surrounding the pipes running through your home’s crawl spaces and attic. The thicker the insulation the better your chances of avoiding burst pipes.
- Wrap exposed pipes. Outdoor faucets, pipes entering the foundation and even buried mainline water pipes can become damaged if ice builds inside. Foam insulation, rags, towels, and even blankets can be used to protect these pipes.
- Store outdoor hoses. Disconnect any water hoses and store for the winter.
- Turn on faucets in your home. Open faucets to a slow trickle in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. The slow flow will deter ice from forming inside the pipes.
- If you are leaving town for an extended period of time, do not turn your thermostat down too low; the higher temperatures will help interior walls retain heat which helps prevent freezing.
- Turn off your outside faucets. There is usually a shut off valve. The shut off valve is typicalluy location in your basement around where the pipe enters the home.
If your pipes freeze, turn off the water and slowly thaw the frozen section using warm towels, a constantly moving hair dryer or even a heating pad set on low. Also, remember to remove electrical appliances away from the frozen pipes. Call a local plumber to assess the situation and to prevent further damage.