During the winter, many homeowners are vigilant in keeping their driveways clear of snow and their front steps free from ice, but how much time do you spend thinking about your pipes?
“Frozen pipe issues are more than just a minor hassle,” says Max Rose, owner of Four Seasons Plumbing. “Damage caused by frozen pipes bursting can cost thousands of dollars in repairs, property damage and loss. Fortunately, most homeowners can avoid untimely expenses like this by being proactive instead of waiting on freezing lows to arrive.”
Rose and the Four Seasons team list the following tips to prevent freezing pipes:
Survey the home’s exterior – Small air leaks near pipes can cause them to freeze very quickly. Use caulk or insulation to seal any troublesome cracks.
Monitor indoor air temperatures – It’s a great money-saving practice to lower the thermostat at night or during absences, but temperatures should never be set below 65 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing.
Pack-up outdoor hoses – Stow away outdoor hoses in the winter months and make sure the indoor valve is completely shut off. Make sure hose bibs are completely drained before covering.
Let faucets drip – On nights where a below freezing temperature drop is in the forecast, be sure to let faucets drip with warm water. Even a trickle of water helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Open cabinets – Cabinet doors can prevent warm air from getting to pipes under kitchen and bathroom sinks. It’s an important practice to leave them cracked so that the heat can circulate around the pipes.
“Cold weather is troublesome enough on its own, and more so around the holidays,” Rose says. “If you do happen to fall victim to a frozen pipe disaster, turn off the water at the main as soon as possible, then call a professional right away.”