Severe winter weather can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing. As temperatures drop, your pipes are more prone to freezing, cracking, or bursting. By taking preventive measures and monitoring your pipes throughout the winter, you can avoid frozen pipes and the costly damages that accompany them.
- Why Do Pipes Freeze?
Unlike most liquids, water expands as it freezes. This expansive property puts a tremendous amount of strain on both metal and plastic pipes. Particularly during the winter where water is constantly freezing and melting, pipes are more prone to freezing, cracking, or bursting.
- Cold Weather Measures
As the cold weather sets in, it’s important to continue monitoring your home’s pipes. These recommendations will help preserve your pipes through brutal winter conditions.
- Keep Your Thermostat Consistent
Through both the day and night, keep your thermostat set to the same temperature. While it may be tempting to continually adjust the thermostat as temperatures fluctuate, the constant circulation of warm air may prevent a costly plumbing repair.
- Insulate Your Pipes
If you have any water pipes that run against an exterior wall, make sure they are properly insulated. Particularly in unfinished basements and crawl spaces, dropping temperatures can put your pipes at risk.
- Open Cabinet Doors
In many homes, the kitchen and bathroom sinks can be located against an exterior wall. These areas are not insulated well and cold air from outside can start to freeze the pipes beneath the sinks. To help combat the influx of cold air, leave the cabinet doors open to facilitate the movement of warmer air.
- Turn on the Faucet
When the weather is extremely cold, allow water to run through your pipes at a trickle. Running water through pipes that are exposed to exterior walls, will help keep them from freezing. As temperatures continue to plummet, be especially mindful of your drain lines as well, as these can easily freeze.
Since the average water leak causes up to $7,000 in damage, it’s important to safe guard against the possibility of a frozen pipe. While the steps we’ve mentioned above are good places to start, frozen pipes and leaks are always a possibility. With a complete home plumbing inspection, our expert plumbers can asses your home’s plumbing and help safeguard it against freezing temperatures.