Brrr! It’s finally cold outside. The chilly winter weather might be nice for snuggling in front of the fireplace and sipping hot cocoa, but it also poses a serious threat to your home’s pipes. As the temperature drops, water in your pipes can freeze and expand. This expansion puts pressure on your pipes and can lead to a leak or ruptured pipe. This winter, make protecting your pipes a top priority by following these tips.
PROTECT OUTDOOR PIPES
Outdoor pipes, which are more exposed to the harsh weather, are especially at risk for freezing. To prevent frozen pipes be sure to:
- Turn off your lawn’s sprinkler system. Then, drain all of the water out of the system. You may need to blow compressed air through the sprinkler system to fully drain the water.
- Disconnect and store all garden hoses. A frozen hose seems like a minor problem, but it can actually cause the pipe that it is connected to it to rupture as well.
- Use foam insulation to protect outdoor pipes, including those in crawl spaces, garages and attics. If foam insulation isn’t available, layers of newspaper secured with duct tape will work in a pinch.
PROTECT INDOOR PIPES
While outdoor pipes are the most at risk, there are several things homeowners should do indoors to protect their plumbing system.
- Keep the heat on. It may be tempting to save on heating cost by turning the heat off when you aren’t at home. However, heating your home around the clock is the best way to prevent frozen pipes.
- Open the cabinet doors. When the temperature plummets, opening the kitchen and bathroom cabinets allows heat to move around the plumbing.
- Drip the faucets. In extreme weather it’s important to keep water moving through your pipes. Allow water to drip from a few faucets around the home to prevent ice from forming in the lines.
Even with proper precautions, cold winter weather can occasionally cause a leaky pipe. Whether it’s a small leak or a ruptured pipe, or even if you just need advice on winterizing your plumbing system, contact the pros at Hammond Services.