In some places, winter brings incredibly frigid temperatures. These temperatures can be unpleasant to spend extended periods of time in. Even worse, though, if the weather is cold enough, it may lead to frozen pipes. If your pipes freeze, you may experience burst pipes and extreme water damage in your home.
Our team at Liberty Restoration wants you to know how to protect your home from frozen pipes so you don’t come home to water-soaked floors and damaged structural supports. To learn how to keep your home safe this winter, continue reading.
1. Open Cabinet Doors
Keeping your cabinet doors open is an incredibly easy way to protect your home from frozen pipes. Opening cabinet doors is especially important for pipes located on exterior walls that may be colder than some other pipes in your home. When you open cabinet doors, you allow warm air from your house to circulate around the pipes, helping them maintain warmer temperatures.
While this may not work well on its own in extremely cold climates, opening cabinet doors, in addition to following some of the other advice we will give you, can help prevent frozen pipes. Regardless, it is an easy first step to take to protect your home from the unexpected water damage that may accompany frozen pipes.
2. Let Faucets Drip
Letting faucets drip is a great way to prevent frozen pipes for several reasons. While your faucets drip, they release a small amount of heat. This heat may be just enough to prevent any water in the line from freezing. Letting them drip may also help prevent pressure build-up. Often, frozen pipes will burst because pressure builds up, and it has nowhere to go.
However, when you allow your faucets to drip slightly, water continues moving through the line, even slightly, to alleviate any pressure build-up. Letting your faucets drip, much like opening cabinet doors, works incredibly well in conjunction with other preventative measures.
3. Double-Check Your Thermostat
If you are worried about frozen pipes, you should double-check your thermostat, especially before leaving your house. If the temperature in your home drops, there is a chance that, in conjunction with the colder weather outside, your pipes will freeze and burst. However, by checking your thermostat before you leave, you ensure your pipes remain warm.
In addition to double-checking the temperature set on your thermostat, you also want to ensure the batteries in the thermostat are working well. By double-checking the batteries, you guarantee your thermostat won’t be shut off while you’re away, dramatically impacting the temperature in your home and causing pipes in your home to freeze.
4. Add Insulation
Adding insulation to your pipes is probably one of the most effective ways to prevent frozen pipes. Insulation creates a thermal barrier between the water inside and the frigid temperatures outside. Insulation slows the rate of heat loss, meaning water inside is much less likely to freeze. Insulation is an especially great way to protect pipes in unheated areas of your home, like crawl spaces and basements.
If you want to avoid frozen pipes this winter, you should consider getting insulation to protect yourself. This insulation should cover any exposed portions of your pipes and should be incredibly secure to ensure it does sag or slip.
5. Disconnect Outdoor Hoses
Once you have finished gardening projects for the year, you should disconnect and store your hose. While you might not think that your hose has much impact on your pipes through the winter months, leaving it hooked up can create substantial problems for homeowners. If you leave your hose attached as winter rolls in, water may become trapped in the hose and faucet.
As this water freezes, it expands and creates pressure within your pipes. Pressure in frozen pipes can, in worst-case scenarios, cause your pipes to burst, leading to water damage in your home. If you want to prevent this, disconnect your hose and ensure the shut-off valve is closed to prevent water from sitting in the line.
6. Shut Off Water
Turning off your water is a more extreme way to prevent frozen pipes, but it is an incredibly effective way to protect your home, especially if you aren’t going to be home for some time. If you are leaving your home in the colder winter months, consider shutting your water off. When you shut your water off, no new water enters the line, preventing freezing within the line.
You will want to drain your lines after you shut the water off. To do this, turn on faucets and allow the water to make its way out. Then, you won’t have to worry about some water sitting in the line, freezing and bursting the pipes. If you are going on vacation and temperatures are expected to remain low, shutting off your water is a great way to protect yourself.
What To Do If You Have Frozen Pipes
If you discover frozen pipes in your home, it is essential that you act quickly to protect your home from burst pipes and water damage. To address this problem, begin by opening any faucet attached to the frozen pipe to alleviate pressure. Then, you will need to begin warming the pipes up with a blow dryer, heating pad, or hot towel. Never use flames directly on pipes, as this may cause damage to the pipes.
If you are unable to unfreeze the pipes or the pipes burst, you should reach out to a team of professionals, as is an emergency and should be repaired as soon as possible. They can promptly address the problem and protect your home from water damage that will ensue if the pipe thaws on its own.
Repair Damage From Frozen Pipes With Liberty Restoration
If you have experienced frozen pipes in your home and are dealing with water damage from them bursting, you should reach out to a team of professionals for help as soon as possible. At Liberty Restoration, our team is licensed and trained to handle the most complex home restoration projects. No matter how big or small the project, we are ready to help you feel comfortable in your home once again.
If you need to schedule an appointment to repair water damage from frozen and burst pipes or would like to speak with a member of our team, contact us today.