Winter brings its own set of challenges and one of the most concerning for homeowners is the potential for pipes to burst due to freezing temperatures. The damage caused by pipes bursting in Cincinnati, OH, can be extensive and costly to repair. With some proactive measures you can safeguard your plumbing and keep your home cozy throughout the cold season. Here are three effective ways to prevent pipes from bursting during winter:
Insulate Your Pipes
Insulating your pipes is an important step in preventing them from freezing and bursting. Pipes located in unheated or exposed areas such as basements, attics, crawl spaces and outer walls, are particularly vulnerable. Pipe insulation acts as a protective barrier reducing the risk of freezing by keeping the pipes at a consistent temperature.
There are various materials you can use to insulate your pipes such as foam pipe sleeves, fiberglass or heating tape. Carefully wrap the insulation around the pipes paying special attention to vulnerable areas. Make sure there are no gaps or uncovered spots. Don’t forget to insulate exterior faucets as well. Install faucet covers or use foam insulating caps to shield them from the cold.
Let Faucets Drip
Allowing faucets to drip slowly during extremely cold weather can help prevent pipes from freezing. This method relieves pressure within the pipes reducing the likelihood of them bursting.
When water is allowed to drip, even at a slow pace, it keeps the water moving. This makes it harder for it to freeze. Moving water has a lower freezing point which means that the pipes are less likely to reach a critical temperature where bursting becomes a risk. Focus on faucets connected to exposed or exterior pipes. Especially those along outer walls or in unheated spaces.
Maintain a Consistent Indoor Temperature
Maintaining a consistent indoor temperature throughout the winter is important in preventing pipes from freezing and bursting. While it may be tempting to lower the thermostat to save on energy costs, doing so greatly increases the risk of frozen pipes. Aim to keep your home’s temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re away or during the night. This provides adequate warmth to keep the pipes from freezing. Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around pipes. If you have rooms that are seldom used make sure to keep the doors open to maintain an even temperature throughout the house.
By taking these measures to insulate, keep water flowing and maintain a consistent indoor temperature, you can minimize the risk of pipes freezing and bursting this winter. Protecting your plumbing not only saves you from the inconvenience and expense of repairs but also guarantees a warm and comfortable home during the colder months!