How To Prevent Frozen Pipes In Winter

It’s happening again THE PIPES FROZE! This time you weren’t so lucky. This time the pressure from inside the pipes caused them to not only freeze… but burst. Now you’ve got some serious flooding going on.

But let’s rewind this scenario a bit. What if you’d taken the proper steps in successfully weatherizing your entire home… including the pipes?

These silent water warriors rarely get the recognition or treatment they deserve! 

In this article, we’ll discover 5 great tips to prevent your pipes from freezing 2019.

For Cold and Warm Climates

Frozen pipes are definitely an issue for cold climates however, most don’t realize that they are an issue for warm climates too. Homes that are in typically warmer climates tend to be pretty vulnerable. Even more so than in the colder climates.

This is due to the pipes not having been properly insulated against frigid temperatures – or they’re located in unprotected areas entirely like outdoors. When it’s abnormally cold in those areas it puts the pipes at risk. 

Regardless of your location, your attention should be on the water supply pipes, not the drain pipes. Drain pipes are about 1 ½ inches larger than the water pipes and usually made of plastic.

The water pipes are only about 1 inch in diameter. Drain pipes carry your water waste and are not pressurized like water pipes, so freezing inside drains really isn’t a concern. 

Step #1: Heat

When you leave your home for an extended period of time you’ll want to make sure you leave the heat on. Leaving the heat on can prevent your pipes from freezing while you’re away.

The heat does not need to be kept as high as you normally keep it, however, keeping it above 50 F is always a good idea. 

Step # 2: Let That Faucet Drip!

Open up the faucet just a bit so it drips only slightly – you should keep this going over the course of the next winter storm.

This will help to relieve the pressure in the system. When a pipe freezes it’s the pressure that’s created between the blockage and the faucet that causes the pipes to burst. 

Step # 3: Seal Cracks and Holes

Use caulk or your choice of insulation (such as spray foam) to fill the gaps. If you can seal the holes on both the interior and exterior sides of the wall – do it.

Cold air from outdoors can find it’s a way in through those same holes. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya! 

Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Step # 4: Open The Cabinet Doors

If your house is like mine and many others your water supply is likely located behind cabinet doors. In fact, most of the time you can find the pipes nestled tightly away in cabinets.

You’ll want to leave those cabinet doors open so the heat from the rest of your house can keep the pipes warm.

Step # 5: Add Even More Insulation

If your pipes are located in exterior walls such as attics or basements – it’s likely that your pipes are not insulated at all. We recommend adding more insulation to keep the pipes from freezing.

Using foam sleeves for hot water lines as required by municipal code is a short term DIY solution for exposed water supply.

Freezing pipes can lead to blockages that cause the pipes to burst. This can cause serious flooding issues especially when no one is home to turn the water off!

But by using these 5 steps you’re sure to avoid a chilling surprise the next time you come home late.

If our tips have been helpful to you please share below in the comments section. For more information on properly insulating your home visit Green Attic.