As we head into winter, it's important to start prepping your home to withstand the cold temperatures and possibility of ice and snow. Many of our clients worry about their pipes freezing, and we understand — when a pipe freezes and bursts, it can cause serious water damage before the problem is stopped. Today, we'll walk you through the steps to take to winterproof your pipes.
1. Pipe Insulation
When temperatures drop to 20 degrees or below, that's when your home's plumbing system will be at the greatest risk. Insulation will provide a great first line of defense. Insulation is easy to buy at your local hardware or plumbing supply store, along with the basic tools you'll need for the job.
Insulation is easy to pick up at your local home-improvement, hardware, or plumbing supply store. Before heading out, measure the outside diameter of your pipes to ensure you've purchased the correct size. Wrap the pipes with insulation made of polyethylene or fiberglass.
Are you insulating pipes that have previously frozen during a bad cold snap? Make sure to take extra care with these, and consider a second layer of insulation or wrapping pipes in heat-tape before applying your insulation layer. Make sure to carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Any pipe that's been repaired within the last year is exceptionally susceptible to repeat damage, so keep that in mind.
2. Open Cabinet Doors
Under-sink pipes can benefit from greater exposure to heat. Opening cabinet doors where pipes are located will introduce more heat into the space and can help when it comes to keeping things more comfortable.
3. Let Your Faucet Drip
While a dripping faucet can run up your water bill, a burst pipe will involve a much more expensive cost for repairs. On nights when you know the temperatuers are expected to drop more than ten degrees below freezing, set faucets that have pipes against an exterior wall to have a small, steady drip. The movement of water will keep it from freezing — and keep your pipes from bursting.
4. Seal Off Your Crawlspace
If you have a crawl space under your home, you're more at risk of freezing pipes than if you have a full-sized basement. One way to protect your pipes over the winter is to seal the crawl space off before the temperatures really start to drop. Cover vents with a heavy-duty piece of cardboard cut to fit, being sure to duct tape the cover in place without any space left for air to get out. Reducing the amount of cold air in the area minimizes your pipes' vulnerability to freezing.
5. Have a Basement? Check For Cracks.
Having a basement can help protect against burst pipes, but only if the cold air can't get in through cracks in the foundation. Before winter really hits, take the time to check for cracks or holes along exterior basement walls. If you find any, seal them with caulking or spray foam insulation to ensure that your home is well-protected.
Before Winter, Schedule Preventative Maintenance
The best way to ensure your home is fully protected before winter hits is by scheduling preventative maintenance for your home heating and cooling and plumbing systems! Our experienced professionals will come out to take a look and make sure your heating will function efficiently all winter long and your pipes will be fully protected. If you're a Gold Star Member, you'll receive twice-yearly visits as part of your membership! To learn more, check out our Gold Star Membership page or let us know! Reach us by phone at (215) 855-2014 or contact us online at any time!