One of the scariest threats for homeowners is the prospect of a burst pipe. This menace is especially worrisome during the winter. Because pipes can start to freeze and burst when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, preparing your home before winter can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Here are five tips for how to winterize your pipes to avoid freezing.
In the Home
Most of your winterizing work should be done inside. These are all simple tips for what to do before winter rears its ugly head.
Insulate the Pipes
Surrounding any exposed plumbing in pipe insulations is a great first step in winterizing your water system. You want the insulation to be thick enough to surround the pipe, but not so big as to have excess room for air to get in. You should do this in all places where the pipes are exposed, including bathrooms, attics, and basements.
Insulate Crawl Spaces
Crawl spaces, particularly those under homes or in attics, are notorious for letting warm air escape. Counter this by stuffing exposed walls with fiberglass insulation. Aside from helping your winter heating bill, this keeps cold air out of your home and away from your pipes.
Leave a Faucet to Drip
Finally, the age-old belief about leaving a faucet to drip is actually grounded in fact. Turning on both hot and cold water to run, especially during cold nights, helps prevent pipes from bursting. Make sure the water is warm; cold water can still cause the pipes to freeze. Very hot water, on the other hand, damages your pipes and runs up your electricity bill. So, keep it warm but never hot.
Outside the Home
While most people will stop after preparing the interior of the house, it’s important not to forget about the house’s exterior while winterizing pipes. Here are a few additional steps you should take to protect your house from the outside.
Much like uninsulated crawl spaces, cracks in your home let in cold air that can freeze pipes if not properly sealed. Using a simple spray foam insulation, then sealing it with caulk, keeps the heat in and the cold out.
The final tip for how to winterize your pipes to avoid freezing is to remove any garden hoses from their spigots. Drain the hoses by grabbing one end, elevating it, and slowly walking down the length of the garden hose until no more water comes out the opposite end. Then, put a cap on the cover for the spigot to finish the job.
If you do experience a burst pipe, call the recovery experts at Aloha Restoration. We strive to provide the best water damage restoration in Lake Zurich, IL.