If you live in a region where temperatures regularly get below freezing during the winter, you have probably heard about the dangers of freezing pipes. The water in your pipes can freeze just as much as any other type of water. They run outside and will not be as protected as the rest of your home from the low temperatures that sometimes occur in the winter.
Luckily, there are some ways to keep a frozen pipe from bursting. In this article, we have laid out some techniques for keeping your pipes protected in cold weather. By using all of the methods laid out below, you can be sure that your pipes will be protected.
What Happens When Pipes Freeze?
When your pipes freeze, the issue isn’t necessarily the part that contains the frozen water. The real problem comes from the water pressure that builds up between the frozen point of the pipes and the faucet. When the pressure gets too much, the pipes will burst and spray water throughout the home. The points where the burst happens are rarely the points where the freezing has taken place. To keep this from happening, there are a few precautions you can take that will lessen the chances of your pipes freezing and bursting over the winter.
A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
Step one: Open Your Cabinets
One of the best ways to keep your pipes from freezing is to keep your kitchen cabinet and bathroom cabinet doors open where you have pipes running through. It includes places like underneath the sinks and in any utility closets. Odds are you will be running your heater during the winter, and the rest of the house will be relatively warm compared to the outside. Opening up these cabinets will keep the home circulation even and keep the pipes from freezing over.
Step Two: Let Your Faucets Drip
The key to keeping your pipes from freezing is ensuring that the water keeps moving throughout the pipes. You can do this by keeping your faucets slightly open and a trickle of water running even if they are not in use. The faucets should not be running all the way, but by letting them keep a cold water drip, you can keep a consistent trickle of water and prevent cold water pipes from freezing.
Step Three: Apply Electrical Heat Tape
An electrical heating tape is a great tool for keeping your pipes warm. By using a flexible electric heating pad, you can wrap the exposed areas of your pipes and keep them heated even when the outside areas have freezing temperatures. You can get either automatic or manual heat cable tape that will plugin and help prevent the water in the pipes from getting cold enough to freeze over and cause that pressure to build up.
Step Four: Seal Your Home
When winter starts to approach, it is always a good idea to go around your home and look for gaps where heat can escape. By sealing up these cracks and crevices, you can keep your water pipes warm before they have a chance to get too cold. It will also make your home more efficient and keep more of the warm air inside where it belongs, which can save you a lot of money throughout the winter with frigid temperatures.
Step Five: Close Your Garage Door
Your garage has a lot of water pipes and water supply lines in it that can get cold when the winter approaches. Many garages also contain things like your furnace or water heater. If you allow your garage to get too cold, this can contribute heavily to your pipes freezing over. Many people report broken pipes in areas like their basement or garage. It is generally because these unheated spaces aren’t nearly as well insulated as other parts of the house. Keeping your garage door closed can go a long way towards making sure that your garage doesn’t get cold enough for your pipes to freeze and eventually burst.
Keep Your Pipes Safe All Winter Long
By making sure that you use all of the above methods, you can keep your home safe throughout the winter months. These techniques can keep your pipes warm enough to prevent them from developing ice blockages and bursting when the cold water pressure gets too high. Plus, you can also keep the efficiency of your home up and save yourself some money on heating when the temperatures start to drop.
Do you have techniques for preventing your pipes from freezing? Let us know about them in the comment section below!