As temperatures across the country continue to drop, the reality of frozen pipes becomes a possibility for many in the Midwest. This can not only be an inconvenience at this crucial time, but can cause lasting and costly damage. Preventing pipe damage in your home is crucial. Make the changes necessary in your home to help prevent it from happening to you.
Why It Happens
In many ways water is unique from other substances. As it freezes it begins to expand. This is fine if the water has the space, but when water freezes in confined spaces like the pipes of your home, it can cause great amounts of pressure to form against whatever it is pushing against. There are some pipes that will be more likely to freeze than others, these are the ones that need your attention most to prevent damage from happening. Take the steps in each of these capacities to prevent frozen pipes, ensuring your home will be protected from damage.
The Attic and Basement
Before anything else freezes, the pipes in the attic, basement, and crawl space of your home will be the first to freeze. There is little to no insulation in these areas, allowing the cold air to more easily seep in and do its damage. To better protect these pipes, it may be necessary to insulate the pipes with a pipe sleeve or heat cable. For immediate help try using newspaper to insulate until you can get to the store and purchase these.
Make sure you drain the hoses and pipes on the exterior of your home, as well as blow out the sprinkler line before the worst of winter hits. it is best to remove the hose completely from the pipe and secure this in your garage. You can also add heat tape around the spigot to protect it from the cold. If you have a swimming pool, drain the water from this, protecting it from the cold.
Those pipes in your home that directly rest against the outer walls are also in danger of freezing. They are less influenced by heating systems, and are protected by far fewer layers of insulation. This includes sinks that rest directly against the wall. To take care of this on extremely cold nights, you can leave warm water running just at a drip through the pipes. This will help prevent freezing from occurring.
Freezing pipes can cause costly repairs, including water damage. Preventing this from happening is key. Make the changes to your home that will better protect it from this damage, giving you peace of mind all winter long.