When the temperature drops, this puts your home's pipes at risk of freezing. A frozen pipe can burst and cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. Keep reading to learn a few simple tricks and home maintenance tips to keep this from happening.
Home Maintenance Tips to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
- Add Insulation to Your Pipes
It's easy to add insulation to your pipes yourself if you can comfortably access the pipes. Foam pipe insulation is one product that is both affordable and simple to install. Just slip the pieces onto the pipes that you want to insulate.
Another solution is to wrap the pipes in automatic heat tape. This tape has a built-in thermostat that activates the warming feature once the temperature drops below a certain point.
- Heat Pipes in Cold Areas
Pipes in unheated or under-heated areas, such as your attic, exterior walls and cabinets are more prone to freezing. Add heat to these areas to keep your pipes unfrozen.
You can open the cabinet doors so that warm air can reach the pipes in and around your cabinets and open the access point to your attic to warm the area. Or, you might opt for additional insulation, which will raise the temperature in under-heated walls.
- Leave Your Faucets Dripping
Keep your pipes from freezing and bursting by ensuring that pressure does not have a chance to build up within the pipes. Allow your faucets to drip slightly during freezing weather.
If the faucet has a single handle to control the water temperature, set the faucet so that it drips warm water. Some faucets have cold and hot water pipes and use dual faucets to control the water temperature. Should your house have a faucet like this, make sure that you activate both the cold and hot water.
What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze
Unfortunately, despite regular home maintenance and your best efforts, pipes can still freeze. If you turn your water on and no water comes out or there's only a small trickle of water, this indicates your pipes are frozen and at risk of bursting. Take immediate action by following these steps:
- Turn your water off using the master shut-off valve
- Add heat to the area where the frozen pipe is. You can use a space heater to warm the area or target the pipe with a hair dryer. Wrapping the pipes with automatic heat tape is another quick option to heat the frozen pipes.
For more expert home maintenance tips, check out these blog posts:
- Why You Should Schedule a Roof Inspection This New Year
- Prevent Silverfish from Nesting in Your Home with These Home Maintenance Tips
- Winter Prep Checklist: Scheduling Your Roof Inspection