Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on plumbing systems. Frozen pipes may burst and create water leaks, leading to severe damages and costly repairs.
Ensure your plumbing stays resilient in cold weather by following these preventative measures, and for additional tips on safeguarding your outdoor tankless water heater during winter, check out more advice here.
Let your faucets drizzle
Winter water pipes should never freeze and burst unexpectedly; this can lead to significant property damage and cause considerable inconvenience for you and your family. However, this issue can be avoided with proactive measures taken beforehand.
One of the best things you can do during cold snaps is let your faucets drip slowly during periods of low water pressure, as this will keep the water flowing and prevent pipes from freezing. Just leave a small trickle of water running – excess amounts may result in flooding your pipes! You could also collect and use this dripping water to water plants or fill humidifiers.
When temperatures fall below freezing, it’s essential to leave interior faucets dripping as this will protect exposed pipes from freezing – including attics, basements, garages or any that align with exterior walls. Doing this helps ensure that they won’t burst.
Finally, it may be prudent to hire a professional plumber who can apply heat using electric heating pads, portable space heaters that don’t come into direct contact with flammable materials, or kerosene or propane heaters – and apply them directly onto any exposed plumbing in your home that are vulnerable to freezing.
Open cabinet doors
Open cabinet doors under any sinks to increase exposure to warmth and possibly prevent freezing of exposed pipes. Use foam or fiberglass insulation sleeves on at-risk pipes for further insulation.
Before temperatures dip below freezing, cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks must be opened to circulate warm air around pipes to help them avoid freezing and bursting. In rooms where pipes run along exterior walls, keep closet doors open, allowing heat from the room to reach these areas more effectively.
Leaks should be repaired before winter weather sets in since even minor leaks can lead to frozen pipes and costly repairs. Furthermore, leaks waste both water and energy, which increases utility costs.
Locating your main shut-off valve for water supply is key to protecting both yourself and your home in case of a burst pipe. It should be easily accessible to minimize damages to systems and property.
Furthermore, all household members should know where this valve can be found. In an emergency, they can quickly turn the water off to their respective houses.
Keep furniture away from pipes
Frozen pipes can be a major disaster that causes thousands of dollars worth of water damage to your home or business. In the worst-case scenario, a frozen pipe can temporarily interrupt your water supply until it thaws.
The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to ensure that there isn’t any furniture, especially large furniture, that could obstruct the flow of water through the system. If you have a bookshelf or other large piece of furniture in your home that is directly above the water pipes, move it or put something over it to keep it from touching any of the plumbing.
Another good idea is to insulate the piping that is most susceptible to freezing, such as exterior piping, and unheated areas of your property like garages and crawl spaces. You can use insulation products like insulating sleeves or foam pipe wrap that is available at most hardware stores.
In addition, you should also take steps to patch any drafty areas in your home that could allow cold air to come into the home and lower the temperature around your plumbing systems.
Weatherstripping or caulking can be an easy and inexpensive way to address this issue and help prevent frozen pipes in the winter. Lastly, you should make sure that all your drains are thoroughly cleaned and clog-free before the temperatures drop.
Cooler temperatures can exacerbate clogs, especially in restaurants and laundromats where more than just water goes down the drain.
Keep your pipes insulated
Water pipes can freeze during frigid winter weather, placing your entire plumbing system at risk of bursting.
Insulating your plumbing systems during the winter can help protect them. This can be accomplished by either covering pipes with foam or fiberglass insulation or placing unheated areas such as crawl spaces.
Property owners should also insulate any outdoor hose bibs that might freeze up, leaking water into their homes or properties, potentially leading to extensive damages.
Insulation sleeves also help protect pipes against damage from external forces while decreasing condensation that forms along those cold surfaces of pipes and causes them to rust over time.
Insulating your pipes is also beneficial in saving on energy costs since the warm pipes will require less energy to operate and, therefore, save on utility bills all year round.
Though frozen pipes may seem like only a home issue, they can also have serious repercussions for businesses and industrial facilities. A burst pipe at a factory or office can halt production for days while costing thousands in repairs and insurance claims if it bursts.
Therefore, regardless of your residence or workplace, follow these steps to protect against frozen pipes this winter season.