6 Steps to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing
Winter comes with a host of complications. One of the commonly affected parts of your house are pipes, which often freeze during winter. However, homes in cold climates are not the only ones that face the discomfort of frozen pipes. Others in warmer climates are also exposed since they are not insulated against such extreme temperatures.
Besides the fact that a frozen pipe can hinder the flow of water, a worst-case scenario is that a frozen pipe can burst. The result is extensive damage caused by flooding. This problem can, however, be mitigated by following these tips.
1. Leave the Heat On
If you or your tenants will be away for some time, leaving the heat on prevents your piping from freezing. While it may be hard to convince your tenants to leave the heating system on if they are responsible for paying the power utility bills, letting them know it is for their own good can help. Graphically describe how much damage a frozen burst pipe can cause to the property and their items and you will soon have eager compliance.
Besides, the heat does not have to be set higher than you would have it when in the house; although anywhere above 50 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. This is enough heat to keep the pipes from freezing.
2. Let the Faucet Drip
To keep the pipe from freezing, leave the faucet dripping slightly to relieve pressure in the piping system. In case a pipe freezes, the pressure between the blockage and the faucet is what could make it burst. Leaving the faucet slightly open prevents such pressure from building up and ensures the pipe does not burst.
3. Keep Cabinet Doors Open
Most pipes are located in cabinets. When the temperatures dip, keep the cabinet doors open to allow in heat from the rest of the house so the pipes can stay warm as well. Make sure all your interior doors are open to allow easy circulation of heat throughout your home.
4. Seal All Holes and Cracks
Caulk cracks or holes near the pipes. Do this on both the exterior and interior walls to keep out the cold air while letting in warm air.
5. Use Heating Tape
If you can easily access your pipes, apply electrical heating tape directly to the pipes to keep them from freezing. You can use automatic tape that turns itself on and off whenever it senses a dip or a rise in temperature, whatever the case may be, or use the manual tape that has to be plugged in and unplugged when not in use. Since these heating tapes can be extremely dangerous, strictly adhere to safety procedures.
6. Apply Extra Insulation
Pipes in areas without adequate insulation such as attics and basements may require added insulation, so they don’t freeze. This problem could extend to other areas of your home beside the basement or attic. Apply extra insulation to pipes that are prone to freezing, wherever in your home they may be. You can also fit the pipes with fibreglass or foam rubber to minimize the chances of freezing.
A plumber can easily implement this on exposed pipes, but if they are hidden behind ceilings, walls and floors, the process of getting to them is very costly since you have to first remove the barrier. You can also add extra insulation to ceilings and walls to keep the pipes warm and functional throughout the year.
Heat is highly critical during the winter season. Keeping your home warm and insulating or electrically heating your pipes ensure a continuous flow of this important substance. Besides, it prevents pipes from freezing and bursting, which can cause serious damage to your property through flooding. Notwithstanding the water damage, the possibility of electrocution when this happens is too grave to contemplate.