Every year thousands of homeowners have their homes ruined and their everyday lives forever changed because of frozen water pipers. It is important to know that cold and freezing nights can quickly turn into expensive damages. Pipes freeze for several reasons such as being poorly insulated, a quick drop in temperature and a thermostat that is kept too low. Keep in mind that even though copper pipes are more vulnerable to bursting, plastic and copper pipes can burst when frozen.
Keep in mind that frozen pipes can cause a great deal of damage. They can flood your home or basement, require a great deal of cleaning and the after effects of mold can be especially dangerous to your health. To prevent frozen pipes from occurring in your home or business, thoroughly insulate your pipes to keep the cold air out. Heat tape, wrapped around pipes, can be used to keep your pipes insulated and protected. In addition, be sure to seal up air leaks inside your home where pipes are located. Places to look for air leaks are around vents, pipes and electrical wiring.
Also, before winter begins, disconnect garden hoses. Another tip that helps when winter weather arrives is to let a trickle of warm water drip throughout the night. Be sure to keep your thermostat at the same temperature setting during day and night. If you lower the heat on your thermostat at night, your pipes may freeze. If you leave for vacation in the winter, keep your thermostat set around 55 degrees, shut off the water main, drain the system and have a friend or neighbor check on your house to ensure that it is not getting too cold inside.
Some also think that draining your pipes is a good way to prevent them from freezing. Another tip to prevent your pipes from freezing is to keep any doors or cabinets open in your home such as the doors underneath your bathroom and kitchen sinks. Before cold weather sets in be sure to find out, if you don’t already know, where the main water valve and the valve on your water heater is located. These two valves are necessary to know especially if an emergency occurs in your home.
There are things you can do if you find a frozen pipe or faucet in your home such as thawing it out with a hair dryer. (Be sure to avoid using a hair dryer if there is water on the floor.) If a pipe bursts, shut off the water at the main valve. In addition, if the break occurs in a hot water pipe, make sure the valve on top of the water heater is closed. Of course, the next thing to do is to call a plumber. Always keep an emergency number for a plumber close to your phone or cell phone.
To conclude, frozen pipes can be prevented. All it takes is some planning, preparation and an emergency number for a plumber nearby.