How to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing in the Winter

As winter blankets the world in a frosty embrace, people must prepare their homes for the challenges that plummeting temperatures bring. One crucial aspect of winterizing your home is ensuring that your pipes remain unfrozen, preventing potential water damage disasters such as burst pipes. The average national cost for a burst pipe repair is $1,200, but if the leak results in extensive water damage, you could be looking at repair costs over $3,000!


With this comprehensive blog, we will highlight some practical tips to help you prevent your pipes from freezing throughout the winter months.


Insulation Is Key

The first line of defense against frozen pipes is proper insulation. Begin by identifying vulnerable areas, such as unheated crawl spaces, basements, and attics. Insulate pipes in these areas using foam insulated sleeves or heat tape, providing a barrier against the frigid air that can lead to freezing. Ensure that all exposed pipes are covered, including those under sinks and in cabinets.


Seal Cracks and Leaks

Small gaps or cracks in the exterior of your home can let cold air seep into your home and compromise the warmth of your interior spaces. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home, taking note of the areas where pipes are located. Seal any gaps with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent drafts, keeping your pipes and home protected from the winter chill.


Maintain Consistent Heating

Maintaining a constant temperature throughout your home is crucial in preventing pipes from freezing. Keep your thermostat set at a moderate temperature, even when you’re away from home. You might be tempted to drop the heat when you’re not around to save on energy costs, but doing so can expose your pipes to the risk of freezing. If you plan to be away for an extended period, consider leaving the heat on or setting the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.


Drip Faucets in During Extreme Cold Spells

During exceptionally cold nights, let faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through the pipes. Running water will be less likely to freeze, providing a simple yet effective preventive measure. It’s particularly important to focus on faucets connected to pipes that run along exterior walls or in unheated areas.


Open Cabinet Doors

Cabinet doors under sinks can prevent warm air from reaching pipes, making them susceptible to freezing. To combat this, leave cabinet doors open to allow the circulation of warm air around the pipes. This is especially important in bathrooms and kitchens, where pipes are commonly located in cabinets next to exterior walls.


Drain and Disconnect Outdoor Hoses

Outdoor hoses that remain connected in winter weather can cause water to back up into the pipes inside your home, leading to freezing and potential damage. Disconnect all outdoor hoses, drain the water, and store them in a protected area. Consider installing insulated hose bib covers on your outdoor faucets to provide an extra layer of protection.


Pipe Heating Cables

To provide added protection in extremely cold climates, you might consider the installation of pipe heating cables, which wrap around pipes to provide consistent warmth and prevent freezing. They are especially useful in areas where insulation alone may not be sufficient to withstand severe winter conditions.


Prevent Frozen Pipe Disasters

Winterizing your home is a proactive and necessary step to ensure the longevity of your plumbing system. By insulating pipes, sealing gaps, maintaining consistent heating, and adopting additional precautions, you can safeguard your home from the risks associated with frozen pipes. Taking these steps not only protects your property but also provides peace of mind during the coldest months of the year. So gear up and implement these tips to keep your pipes flowing smoothly all winter long.


At Norfolk Plumbing, we’ve seen our fair share of frozen and burst pipes. When you need a professional plumber to help you protect your home or repair a leak, we’re the ones to call! Reach out to schedule your service today.


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