Winter storms have hit a large portion of the country, sending a friendly reminder to homeowners that cold weather problems for your property is not over. I love the silence after fresh fallen snow and the beauty of everything draped in white.. However, I also live in a lake community that originally was all summer homes so the insulation isn’t always the greatest. Throughout the area, it is not uncommon for people to have their pipes freeze during the winter, especially the newer homeowners who don’t realize all these homes were originally summer retreats.
Pipes freezing in the winter can end up being a very costly problem if the pipes burst. But there are steps that can be taken to help prevent this from happening. Some the homeowner can do themselves, while others are best to have done by a professional plumber, like ABC Plumbing.
Some of the things you can do yourself, is never turn your heat below 65 degree. Even though the cost of heating has risen drastically over the past few years, if you turn your heat below 65 degrees, on the really cold nights when the wind chill is factored in, the chance of your pipes freezing increases significantly.
The type of heating system you have can make a difference as well. If you have oil or gas heating, unless it has separate zones, you only have one thermostat for the whole house. If this is the case, and your kitchen or bathrooms or the areas where pipes are most likely to be close to outside walls, and those rooms don’t get as warm, a small space heater with a timer will help to keep those rooms warm enough to keep your pipes from freezing. Leaving the cabinet doors under the sink open so that the heat can get into the space more easily is another trick that helps.
On the other hand, if you have electric heat, you typically have a thermostat in every room, so this makes it easy to turn the heat up in those rooms like the kitchen bathroom where you have pipes that might freeze, while keeping the heat a little lower in the rooms you use least often to conserve on the cost of heating.
One of the oldest tricks to keep the pipes from freezing yourself is to leave the faucets running at just a trickle. As long as water is flowing through the pipes, it makes it more difficult for those pipes to freeze. Think of it like the ocean. Most of the ocean doesn’t freeze because it is constantly moving.
A professional plumber can insulate your pipes and makes sure the areas around your plumbing are well insulated so that the cold doesn’t reach the pipes. Some people will also have their whole home re-insulated not just to prevent frozen pipes, but to keep their home warmer.
If your pipes do freeze, try pointing a heater directly towards them or a use a blow dryer to try to defrost them before they can a chance to burst. If they do burst, call in a professional plumber like ABC Plumbing as soon as possible to minimize the damage and to get the pipes repaired.