When the New England winter sets in and temperatures turn frigid, homeowners need to make sure that their pipes don’t freeze. Frozen pipes can burst and cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home and property. Pipes burst because the water inside of them freezes and pressure builds up. When water freezes, it expands and if it expands too much, the pipes will burst.
Luckily, there are precautions you can take to make sure your pipes don’t burst this winter. Just follow our 6 easy tips to prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Keep the heat on: Never let the temperature of your home go below 55° F. If you will be gone for a while and want to turn the heat down, it’s important to stay at or above 55° to keep the pipes warm enough so that the water in them doesn’t freeze. There are numerous “smart” Wi-Fi thermostats available on the market today that contain sensors which control the heating and cooling systems in your home. This means that you can control your home’s temperature even when you are not home by logging in from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and making corrections to your thermostat. If you ever forget to set the right temperature on your thermostat before going on vacation or leaving for a while, this feature is a lifesaver!
- Keep water moving: Keep the water in your pipes moving and prevent pressure build up by allowing your faucets to drip. Open them only enough for a slow drip and you can significantly decrease the chance of your pipes bursting. If you have a hot and cold faucet, open both. Turn a single-stream faucet to warm and let it drip.
- Open doors: Not your front door, your cabinet doors! Pipes behind cabinets burst frequently. Help prevent this by opening cabinet doors and letting the heat from your home into the cabinets to keep the pipes warm. Keep the interior doors in your house open as well so that your home is evenly heated.
- Seal the gaps: Seal all the gaps and cracks in your home to keep all the heat indoors. Using caulking or foam insulation to fill in cracks around holes where pipes run through walls and floors. Watch out for places cold air can get into cabinets, as well.
- Use heating tape: If you have some pipes that are very likely to freeze, apply heating tape directly to pipes to keep them warm. Make sure you only apply it somewhere that it is easy to check on, because you need to keep an eye on it.
- Insulate: If there are any pipes that are in un-insulated areas (like basements, attics, or crawl spaces) you need to add insulation to help keep pipes warm. You can use foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves around the pipes or add insulation to walls and ceilings.
If you take all these precautions and still have a pipe burst, call a professional right away. At Evolved Mechanical, we respond to emergency situations as quickly as possible. You can trust us to take care of you and your home when you really need it.