Few things are worse than a major property damage disaster. Did you know that up to a quarter-million homeowners have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter because of frozen water pipes, frigid nights can very quickly turn to extremely expensive water damage ordeals? Here are some tips to prevent frozen pipes in your home or business.
In cold and moderate climates alike, pipes freeze for a combination of three primary reasons: quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostat temperatures set too low. While copper is more vulnerable, plastic and copper pipes can burst when they freeze, and recovering from frozen pipes is not as simple as just calling the plumber. A small 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew more than 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious water damage, and a real potential for mold growth.
Frozen pipes cause a huge amount of damage when they burst each year; this disaster is largely preventable. If you take a few simple precautions, you can help save yourself hassle caused by these traumatic events.
Here Is What We At Octagon Recommend To Prevent A Major Water Damage Disaster in Maine or any other state.
Before Temperatures Get Too Cold:
- Thoroughly insulate your pipes as well as your basement or crawlspace to keep cold out. Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Closely follow all manufacturers' installation and operation instructions.
- Seal air leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, vents, and pipes, use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold weather, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause pipes to freeze.
- Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chances of it freezing.
When It Does Get Below Freezing
Even if you've taken all the right steps, extreme weather conditions can still cause frozen pipes. The following steps can help:
- A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an exterior wall.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re away, but further drops in the temperature more common overnight could be enough to freeze pipes.
Before Leaving For Vacation
Traveling in the winter months might be a great remedy for cabin fever but don't forget these critical steps:
- Keep the thermostat in your house higher than 55°F (12°C).
- Have a friend or neighbor to check up on your house regularly to make sure it's not at risk of freezing.
- Shut off the water main and drain the system.