Bursting pipes are the lead cause of water damage within homes. What are the best ways to stop your pipes from freezing?
Keep your house on a regular temperature schedule.
If you’re trying to save money by turning the heat down at night, compromise by keeping it lower throughout the day so as to keep your pipes continually heated. The expense of heating your home will often be lower than the expense of fixing pipes that have burst. By controlling temperatures and not allowing them to fluctuate, you are protecting your pipes against the chance that cold water will build up and freeze.
Always add insulation.
If you find your pipes are uninsulated and running through an uninsulated space, provide extra insulation to ensure they will be able to retain some heat. You can use regular insulation if they are in a place that is normally untouched, or you can invest in some heat tape or pipe sleeves if they are located in a more open, inhabited area. Always follow the instructions outlined with the products to ensure they will safely do the job. In addition, make sure that when applying insulation, there are no cracks or holes in the insulation, or those areas will be more susceptible to cold and potential bursting/water damage.
Let your faucet slightly drip.
This helps the water continuously flow and can relieve some of the pressure within the pipe system. You can start with a drip if you are worried that some of your pipes have already frozen, and then slowly open it up to a steady flow if there is a sign some of the water may be frozen inside. If you find that your faucet will not run at its full capacity, you may already have frozen pipes and water damage. Let the faucet run at a slow drip until you feel it could be turned on higher.
Keep cabinets and doors open to allow warm air to circulate.
However, make sure that the air circulating is of a suitable temperature. If doors and cabinets are left open to cold, low temperatures, pipes might be more susceptible to freezing and causing water damage. On colder days, turn up the temperature slightly to help circulation, while opening the cabinets and doors to keep the interior pipes of your home warm.
If you find that your pipes are frozen, try thawing them by turning on your faucet (again, you can start with a small drip), and letting it run. You can also try to warm up some towels/cloths and place them in the frozen area. Electric heating pads can also be used by wrapping them around the pipes. However, try not to apply high heat, as it may bring fire damage or affect the pipes. If you choose to use a heater, make sure it’s not set too high, and check its electrical circuits before using.
If you find that, despite your efforts, you have broken pipes and water damage, do not hesitate to call a professional.
24 Restore is an experienced water damage restoration company that can clean up floods and water damage disasters due to bursting or broken pipes. Our team is IICRC trained professionals that can restore your property at any time of day.