Winterizing Your Pipes
Cracked pipes plague homeowners in the cold, winter months. Sometimes pipes crack with age, but often, pipes crack because of the water freezing inside of the pipes. Pipes carry the water throughout your house. When water freezes it expands. The water expands inside the pipes and the water pressure increases. Eventually, the increased water pressure causes the pipes to burst. We’ve discussed the costs and inconvenience of water damage in our previous blog posts. Cracked pipes can end up costing you thousands of dollars in water damage. Fortunately, preventing cracked pipes caused by frozen pipes is preventable. We assembled a list of five  preventative measures to Following these steps that can save you thousands of dollars in water damage.
- Shut off Water Supply – If you plan to be away from your home for an extended period for a vacation or trip, make sure to shut off your water supply. Shutting off the water prevents the water from flowing through the pipes and freezing. If your pipes crack while you aren’t home, this can lead to maximum damage.
- Insulate Pipes – The most common solution for frozen pipes is foam insulation. The foam sleeves wrap around the pipe and help keep them safe from the cold. You can buy the foam sleeves at Lowes or Home Depot.
- Use a Space Heater – A space heater can be used to keep the temperature around the pipes warm enough hat the water will not freeze. This method works but caution needs to be exercised. Do not leave space heaters on while away from home. They are a fire hazard, but when used safely, they are effective in preventing frozen pipes in areas your home’s heating system can’t heat effectively.
- Heat Your Home – Keep your heat on when you leave your home. Generally, 55 degrees is a safe temperature. This helps prevent the pipes from freezing. Paying the heating bill is significantly less expensive than repairing cracked pipes and water damage. Also, keeping the heat on reduces costs for raising the temperature when you are home.
- Keep Doors Open – Keeping the doors open allows for the heat to ventilate through the house, keeping the temperatures safe for pipes.
Using all five of these methods together provides the most effective results. To ensure your pipes don’t crack because of old age, routinely check for signs of damage on the pipes. Hopefully these tips help prevent cracked pipes but if you do suffer cracked pipes, make sure to immediately shut off your water supply. Remove all valuable items from the damaged area. After minimizing the damage, call a plumbing professional. We do not recommend that you try to deal with frozen and cracked pipes on your own. If it cracks in the middle of the night, Tim Dean plumbing, and heating offers 24/7 emergency plumbing services! Thanks for reading! Please like our Facebook page for more content!