While it is always hard to say goodbye to summer’s warm, relaxing days, preparing your home for winter early is in your best interest. Projects go best when you can take your time and avoid doing a poor job because of rushing.
Getting your pipes ready for winter is something you can (and should) do ahead of time. Preventing frozen and burst pipes is not an especially difficult task. By taking care of your lines now, you can avoid the miseries of property damage, ruined belongings, and the opportunity for hazardous mould growth in damp areas.
Additionally, you can avoid the expense of repairing pipes and cleaning the huge mess after the fact.
Seven Tips to Avoid Freezing Pipes
1. Insulate Your Pipes
It will not cost much to purchase pipe insulation and heat tape. However, it can save you a great deal of frustration and repair expenses. You should cover pipes in basements, attics, and crawl spaces, as these pipes are often along your home’s exterior walls.
If you live in an area where freezing pipes are quite rare, you can save on the cost of insulation materials and wrap your pipes with layers of newspaper and heat tape.
2. Add Insulation to Your Home
If you have uninsulated areas in your home, you have a greater chance of frozen water pipes. By adding insulation, you will not only protect your pipes but you will also reduce your energy bills. The added insulation will keep warm or cool air in your home.
3. Maintain a Constant Temperature in Your Home
If you keep your home at or near the same temperature, your pipes will be less likely to freeze. Additionally, a steady temperature will put less stress on your furnace than if you frequently turn it up and down.
4. Seal Drafty Areas
Gaps and leaks around windows and doors allow cold air inside. The temperature change can impact your water pipes, causing them to freeze. Check for cracks, gaps, and holes and be sure to fix them to repel cold air. Additionally, keep your garage door closed. Leaving it open is creating a considerable leak that allows cold air inside.
5. Open Cabinets and Doors Under the Kitchen and Bathroom Sink
While this may seem inconsequential, opening these doors allows your home’s warm air to circulate and keeps the plumbing warmer. If the plumbing in these areas is also on an outside wall, this is even more important, and those areas are especially prone to have frozen pipes. Before doing this, make sure you remove any potentially dangerous cleaning products or chemicals, especially if you have children or pets.
6. Keep a Tap Running on Especially Cold Days
If the weather is excessively cold, it is a good idea to keep at least one tap running at all times to prevent ice from building up because of residual water in the pipes.
The best strategy is to choose the tap furthest away from the water source so that water must flow through the house to reach the open tap. If one or more of your taps is serviced by exterior pipes, keeping those taps open is a good idea. These pipes are much colder than pipes running through the interior of your home.
7. Disconnect Your Garden Hose
Once you are done gardening for the season, make sure you disconnect the hose and turn off the water. While preventing frozen water pipes in your home is vital, make sure you take a few minutes and disconnect your hoses and turn off outdoor water sources. These are prone to freeze and can cause extensive damage to your outdoor plumbing.
How to Tell if a Pipe is Frozen
- Frost is visible on the pipe
- A bulge in the pipe, especially if cracking and ice is seeping out
- Tiny cracks caused by ice expanding in the line
- Banging, gurgling, whistling, or other strange noises when you flush the toilet
- You notice a foul smell coming from the faucet. This happens because the ice in the pipe traps odours and cannot filter out. The smells then come out of the faucet
- A very slow trickle of water or no water coming out of the faucet
If you notice these signs, contact a licensed plumber immediately to address the issue. If you wait, you increase the chances of a frozen pipe bursting. Additionally, you can also check out our other blog to learn about what you can do when you have a burst water pipe at home.
You will be in a good position if your pipes, as well as the rest of your home, are ready for colder weather. If you are unsure about how to prep your home for winter, feel free to contact the expert team of plumbers here at Expand Group Plumbers. We have helped hundreds of clients protect their homes and guard against leaks from burst pipes. If you already have a pipe freeze, call us right away. Our expert technicians are skilled in how to fix frozen pipes.