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Winterizing Pipes: How to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter

using foam to line pipes in winter

With the fluctuating temperatures during winter, your pipes can freeze quickly without you knowing until it’s too late. If you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent frozen pipes now, you could encounter a costly and potentially hazardous problem on your hands later. It’s easy and economical to secure your plumbing system this winter and we’ll share some simple strategies can help save time and cash in the future. 

Learn more about why preventing frozen metal or plastic pipes is essential. Know the signs of potential problems, how best to thaw them if they freeze up, and what professional services are available. Prevent pipes from freezing this winter by being informed and proactive.

Reasons Why You Need to Check Your Water Pipes

Keep your pipes free from ice to avoid costly repairs, prevent water damage, and maintain home value.

Avoids Costly Repairs

happy couple at home financing plumbing options on computer

When a pipe freezes, it puts pressure on it, causing the pipe to burst or crack. It leads to flooding in your home that needs immediate attention from a professional plumber. The expense of such a repair can be substantial, depending on the amount of damage and the area where the leak is situated. 

Taking preventative measures, such as insulating exposed pipes or keeping faucets trickling during cold weather, will help you save money and give you a continuous water supply.

Prevents Water Damage

Frozen pipes lead to plumbing issues and potential water damage throughout your house. Broken pipes can result in thousands of gallons of water being released into exterior walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. 

Not only will you have a big mess on your hands, but potentially expensive damages, too. It includes mold growth requiring additional remediation services beyond just replacing your exterior walls or flooring. 

By taking proactive steps, such as wrapping insulation around exposed piping and leaving cabinet doors open during cold weather, you may be able to avoid disasters later due to frozen pipelines bursting inside your home.

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipe

It is essential to take precautions during cold weather to prevent pipes from accumulating ice and bursting. Implementing the advice provided below can help you avoid future plumbing issues.

Insulate Water Pipes

insulating pipes with foam

Insulating water pipes is a great way to keep your pipes from freezing. You can use foam pipe insulation, which comes in pre-slit lengths and wraps around the pipe easily with no tools needed. Insulating water pipes with foam insulation can help prevent water from freezing when temperatures plummet.

Allow Warm Air to Circulate

Another tip for keeping your pipes from freezing is to open bathroom cabinet doors enclosing plumbing fixtures like sinks and toilets. It allows warmer air inside your home to circulate, preventing your pipes from getting too cold and causing frozen or burst pipes.

Let Water Flow Through Your Faucets

Keep the faucets dripping in your water supply lines. Letting only a trickle of water run through each faucet can help maintain sufficient pressure in the lines. So, if ice develops, it won’t clog the pipes or back up into other parts of your house where it may cause damage. 

Keeping an eye on things by looking for symptoms of pipes freezing, such as low water pressure or frost on exterior walls, may also help you discover possible problems before they become big disasters.

You can ensure that your home remains warm and comfortable throughout the winter if you follow the tips to prevent pipes from freezing.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes Safely and Quickly

Thawing out frozen pipes is a little daunting, but with the right methods, it’s easy to do.

Use Hot Water Bottles or Heating Pads

pouring water over frozen pipes

Hot water bottles or an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe are effective ways to melt ice in frozen pipes. The heat from these items will gradually warm up the pipes allowing any ice inside to melt away. Do not use boiling water for this method because it could damage the pipes. Additionally, ensure no moisture is between the hot item and the pipes for it to work.

Use an Electric Hair Dryer

Another option for thawing frozen pipes is using a hair dryer on a low setting and moving it along the frozen area. Slowly and carefully direct the hair dryer’s low-setting hot air along the frozen pipes, keeping your hands at least two feet away from both ends to avoid harm. 

Use an Electric Heat Tape

Use electric heat tape to thaw metal or plastic pipes quickly and safely. It works by wrapping pipes. When plugged into an outlet, electricity passes through its coils, generating heat and warming up whatever they come into contact with, including frozen pipes. 

Electric heat tapes are highly effective when used correctly and pose a minimal risk when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Electric heat tapes, however, are made from flammable materials, so they should only be used under supervision.

Why Hire a Plumber to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

plumber standing next to Blacktie plumbing truck

Hiring an experienced plumber to inspect your piping system can help identify potential problems before they become costly repairs. Here are reasons why it is a good idea to hire a plumber.

  • Plumbers can recognize signs of weak insulation, cracks, or holes that may freeze and burst pipes. 
  • They can help you save time and money by preventing expensive repairs due to water damage caused by frozen pipes.
  • They can install insulation around exposed pipes, preventing them from freezing during severe cold conditions. 
  • They can teach you ways to maintain hot air inside your home, circulating through critical areas.

Final Thoughts

With proper insulation and maintenance of outdoor piping, you can help ensure that your home remains safe and protected during winter. It is essential to know how to recognize signs of frozen pipes and safely thaw them if they freeze. If all else fails, do not hesitate to call a professional for assistance with preventing or repairing frozen pipes for you and your family to stay warm throughout the season.

Take preventative action now to keep your pipes from freezing this winter. Insulate exposed pipes, seal any air leaks around windows and doors, and keep the thermostat at a consistent temperature.

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