Frozen pipes are a very common source of water damage. The pressure of ice expanded inside a pipe bursts it, and your troubles are just starting. The best solution is to prevent frozen pipes in the first place. Follow these tips to help you prevent frozen pipes from ruining your winter.
Leave the Heat Running
It can be hard to leave the heat on when you know people won’t be using the building. If you’re traveling for the holidays or your rental property will be empty over the weekend, it’s tempting to just turn everything off to save money. However, most internal pipes are not as well insulated as external pipes. They rely on the heat of the house to prevent pipes from freezing. Leave your thermostat on, just set it lower than usual–about 50 degrees is enough to keep interior pipes safe.
Leave the Taps Running
Wasting water is never your first choice, but if you’re having a very cold snap at home this is the best way to fight frozen pipes. Moving water is less likely to freeze, so leave your faucets at a slow drip. Keeping the pipe open also works to prevent a buildup of pressure inside the pipe if ice does form there! Without pressure, a frozen pipe can’t burst.
Wrap Exterior Pipes
Before the cold really sets in, take the time to walk around your property and look for exposed pipes. Wrapping these pipes in insulating tape or spray foam can help prevent freezing. It stops wind chill and ensures that pipes keep their heat better. If you use a permanent type of insulation, this is a move that you only have to make once.
Make Repairs Early in the Season
While you’re looking for exposed pipes, also keep an eye out for holes and problem with your exterior walls. These holes let in drafts and let your heated air out! They can even cause pipes inside your home or building to freeze. Extensive repairs should be undertaken by professionals, but if you only have minor damage to fix you can probably do it yourself. If you know how to use caulk, you can patch small problems. The sooner in the season you catch these problems, the more you’ll save on energy and the like.
Preventing frozen pipes starts with attention to detail. Take the time to care for your property. Inspect the outside for holes and gaps that need to be taken care of. Do it yourself, or hire a professional to make sure that your indoor pipes aren’t exposed to outdoor temperatures. Wrap your exterior pipes in insulation to be sure that the heat you’re giving them is going as far as possible. Some forms of insulation are permanent, so investing in this opportunity once could be all you need. If you’re tempted to cut costs on heating and water during the winter season, remind yourself that the cost of a frozen pipe is a lot more than the cost of keeping your building 50 degrees. You can prevent frozen pipes, and these tips will help.
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