It is quite common for water pipes to freeze in winter. Since most water pipes are in your basement and crawl spaces, where heat hardly reaches, they need extra care to prevent freezing. The idea is to keep them warm enough to stay above the freezing point.
You can take multiple measures to ensure that your pipes are not turning frigid and going to burst. Save yourself from a lot of inconvenience and expensive ordeals by following the tips below.
1) Keep The Heat On
Make sure to keep the heat on when you leave home for a long period of time. If you have rented your property, ask tenants to do the same. You do not have to keep the heat as high as you usually do. Just set it above 50 F, and you can forget all your worries related to the bursting of your frozen pipes.
2) Seal The Cracks And Leaks
Cold air coming from outside can also cause your pipes to freeze. Ensure that there are no leaks and cracks around your home. This includes gaps around holes where pipes run through the walls and floors. Seal the gaps by using caulk and spray foam insulation. You can either do it yourself or ask a professional to close the leaks.
3) Let The Cold Water Drip
First things first, turn off the water to the exterior faucet. Also, disconnect the outdoor pipes and clear the remaining water. For the faucets inside your home, don’t completely turn them off. It is a good idea to keep the faucet fed open a bit to let the water drip. This will relieve pressure which is the primary cause of pipe bursting.
4) Add More Insulation
Just insulating your walls and roof is not enough. There are many other areas in your home that require your attention, especially in cold weather. Pipes located in less insulated areas such as basements and attics need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Cover the pipes of such areas with foam insulation rubber or fiberglass sleeves. They are easily available in any hardware shop and do not cost much!
5) Make Use Of Heat Tape
Heat tapes function like an electric blanket for pipes. They not only supply heat to the pipes but also cure cold spells. If you have small sections of exposed pipes that are likely to freeze, use heat tape to cover them. You can either buy a rubber coated heat tape that you can install yourself or ask a contractor to provide you with a braided silver tape. It is recommended to hire a contractor to do the job!
6) Keep The Doors Open
Keep your cabinet and garage door open to let the air flow around the pipes. This will keep the uninsulated pipes warm and will prevent them from freezing. If you have children at home, make sure that you have toxic cleaners or chemicals away from their reach.
At McLean Hardware, we provide all kinds of insulation and heating solutions for your home. From heating tape to foam insulation to faucet covers, we have it all. Contact us today at 703-356-5496.