How To Prevent Your Home's Plumbing From Freezing This Winter
When the temperature outside falls to record low temperatures, it puts your home at a very high risk of having the water pipes freeze. Even hot water pipes are vulnerable to this type of damage if you're not careful. Here are some ways that you can avoid a potential plumbing disaster this winter.
Insulate All Exposed Pipes
You'll want to go into your basement, crawlspace, or any place where the plumbing pipes are exposed. If you can easily access them, then that means cold air can get to them as well. You'll want to take some time to insulate these pipes.
Start by measuring the length of the pipes, then head to your local home improvement store to buy some pipe insulation foam. It looks like a long pool noodle, but it has a slit in one side that makes it easy to slide onto a pipe. Cut the insulation into sections that fit onto the pipe, secure it with tape, and you'll raise the temperature of the pipe to help fight off the cold weather.
Drain Your Outdoor Faucets
Your outdoor faucets need some attention as you get ready for winter. If you have a shut off valve for these faucets inside your home, use that to turn the water off so it is not in the faucet that is exposed outside. Then open the outside faucet to drain out any remaining water that is in them.
You will also need to remove hoses that are connected to the faucet. There may be water in them that can expand and cause the faucet to become damaged when you use it again in the spring.
Add Insulation To your Exterior Walls
Do you have pipes that freeze in the winter, but don't burst, due to them being in exterior walls? If so, these walls could benefit from having more insulation in them. Using spray foam to fill in the wall cavity will help keep the pipe warm on those exterior walls. While it will involve a significant cost to add more insulation now, the damage that a burst pipe can cause will be greater.
If the cold weather is only a few days away, you can keep these walls warm by pointing a space heater directly towards the exterior walls of your home. The pipe will radiate heat through the walls and prevent them from freezing. This can also be a great way to thaw frozen pipes in an exterior wall. Talk to your plumber for more direction.