Winter weather brings frigid temperatures and with those temperatures comes the possibility of pipes located in and around your home freezing. As water in a pipe freezes, it expands, which puts tension on the tubes the water is in. If not taken care of, these pipes could eventually burst causing costly flood damage to your home. Here are some helpful tips to protect your pipes and your wallet.
Examine Your Pipes
First, it is important to do a look through of your house and determine what pipes have a higher chance of freezing. Any pipes or hoses outside should be considered as they will have direct exposure to cold temperatures. Inspect the interior of your home for water supply lines that are located in areas of the house that are not heated. These areas can include attics, crawl spaces, garages, cabinets, or your basement. You should also look for pipes that are placed against exterior walls, or any pipes in your home that have little to no insulation. Acquiring a list of vulnerable pipes will help you know which pipes need to be tended to before the temperature drops, and which pipes to check up on throughout the winter season.
Remove Outdoor Hoses and Shut Off Outdoor Water Supply
In preparation for the cold, you will need to turn off the water supply to your hose bibb and detach and drain any outdoor hoses you use. A hose bibb is the water faucet located on the exterior of your home that your hose connects to. You will need to find the inside valve, normally located in the basement or utility room of your home, and shut off the water supply. You will then need to turn on your hose bibb to let any excess water drain. Lastly, remove and drain your hose and place it in a heated area to avoid your hose freezing.
Check Your Temperature Before You Leave Home
Are you deciding to go somewhere to escape the cold winter? Make sure your house does not reach a temperature below 55°. If the temperature starts to drop below that, interior pipes are more prone to freezing.
Foam pipe insulation is a relatively inexpensive way to keep your pipes protected from the cold. Examine what pipes have insulation in your home already, and make sure insulation is on any pipes in unheated areas.
What To Do If Your Pipes Do Freeze
If you end up getting a frozen pipe, there are ways to thaw the water before the pipe possibly bursts.
Using an electronic blow dryer, heating pad, space heater, or even a towel soaked in hot water can help the frozen pipe thaw. Do not use open flame devices such as a propane heater, blow torch, or any other similar devices that could be potentially dangerous.
As water in the pipe begins to melt, be sure to keep your faucets open. This allows the melting water to have an exit point, and running water flowing through the pipe will help the melting process.
Hopefully these tips will help you formulate a game plan for keeping your pipes safe from the winter cold. In the unfortunate event that a pipe in your home does burst and causes flood damage, contact ServiceMaster by Rice and we will provide you with flood damage restoration service as soon as possible.