Fall Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes in Winter
Insulation is key. Any piping that could become exposed to subfreezing temperatures needs to be insulated. If your home is over an unheated crawl space be sure to insulate those pipes as well. If you have vents through your exterior foundation be sure to cut out foam board sized to fit over your vents that can be easily secured before extreme cold temperatures. Just don’t forget to remove them when the weather warms up. If your own a mobile home, be sure your water line from the park connection to the home is insulated and has functioning heat tape. Anywhere around a basement you see a spider web around your sill plate (where your foundation meets the wood framing) means air is getting in. Spray foam in a can is a simple way to seal gaps and crack and keep cold air out.
Turn up the temperature – When the temperature outside is forecast to drop like rock be sure to turn your thermostat up a few degrees. Now is not the time to worry about fuel consumption, stopping frozen pipes will save you more than you spend in fuel.
Open cabinet doors – anywhere a sink or plumbing fixture is on an outside wall of your home can allow cold air to infiltrate into the home. Keep sink cabinet doors open to allow warm air from within the home to keep your plumbing a little warmer.
Run some water – when the weather man says record cold temperature or a “Polar Vortex” is coming it doesn’t hurt to leave a faucet or two running a tiny bit of water to keep movement. Stagnant water freezes before running water. Just think of a pond and a stream, which freezes over first?
If you have done all you can do with insulation, keeping the house warmer and leaving cabinet doors open along with running water and you still freeze a pipe it’s time to make a call for professional help. Once a pipe is frozen your best bet it to turn off your water supply where it comes in the house. It is not a good idea to start using your hair dryer or hot towels to thaw a line. Most the time when a pipe freezes it also breaks. Call a pro to thaw piping and replace lines that are broken.
For information, you can check out our Frozen Pipes page here.