How to Keep Your Home’s Pipes from Freezing This Winter

With each season comes its own challenges for keeping your home in top shape. During the fall, you work hard to keep your gutters clean and begin preparing for the months ahead, but once winter actually hits, your focus turns to the question that is on every homeowner’s mind. “What if my pipes freeze?”. Set aside the fear, because frozen pipes are not a given for any homeowner. You just need to know what precautions to take to stop the water in your pipes from freezing. Before old man winter comes to visit, and brings sub-zero temps along with him, brush up on these tips to save you from needing water damage repair services.

Keep Pipes Warm

It is crucial that you keep heat on in your home to avoid pipes bursting. Even if you own a property that is vacant, or you plan on being away for an extended period of time, make sure that the thermostat is set to no lower than 50°F, which is the minimum temperature for safely being out of the “freeze zone”.

Open Some Doors

Pipes in your home that are in cabinetry, such as those in your kitchen or bathroom, will stay warmer if they are exposed to the cozy, warm air of your home. When temps are frigid outside, prop open cupboards, cabinets and any closets where pipes are located. If you have pets or children, make sure any dangerous or toxic materials are put up out of reach.

Let It Drip

This is the one time of year that a drippy faucet is a good thing. It might not seem like much, but the slow, steady drip of a faucet is enough to relieve pressure in the pipes and prevent the water from freezing. Water in pipes doesn’t just freeze instantly. Freezing happens when water is trapped, and as it sits, gets colder and eventually freezes. A dripping faucet provides an outlet for water to continually move through.

Block the Air

If you have pipes in drafty areas, especially those in the basement, check to see if there are any holes or cracks that can be caulked or repaired to prevent cold air from seeping in and chilling your pipes.

Warm Them Up

Pipes that are exposed to cold air need an extra layer of insulation. Wrap exposed pipes in electrical heating tape to keep them warm. Also, now is a good time to add extra layers of insulation to basements, attics and other chilly, drafty areas of your home where pipes are exposed.

Thaw It Out

If you discover that you do have frozen water in your pipes, if they haven’t burst already, you can attempt to thaw them yourself. A heating pad, towels soaked in hot water or a space heater will all help to thaw frozen pipes. DO NOT apply flame of any type to frozen pipes. An ounce of prevention can save you the time and expense of costly repairs. But, if winter gets the upper hand, LDR Cleaning and Restoration is here to help with water damage repair, and we’re on call 24 hours a day!
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