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How to Prevent Your Home’s Pipes from Freezing

How to Prevent Your Home’s Pipes from Freezing

Winter came in with a fury earlier this month in the Twin Cities. And ever since, we’ve been dealing with homeowners who have had their pipes freeze.

Actually, your pipes freezing aren't the problem. 

The problem is that when water freezes, it expands, often bursting your pipes and making a horrible mess in the process.

So, with winter just really getting started, what can you do to prevent this? Here’s a few tips.

First: do not use antifreeze

Some older articles may say to use antifreeze in drains and other systems to prevent burst pipes. Don’t do this! Antifreeze is a dangerous chemical that can harm humans, wildlife, animals and the environment.

Drain water from outside systems

If you haven’t already, drain all the water out of your sprinkler system and pool.

Shut off the water to outside hose faucets and then open the valves to let all the water out. Drain and store your hoses. 

Insulate all exposed pipes

Both hot water and cold water supply lines in your home’s unheated spaces (garage, attic, basement and/or crawl space) should be insulated. If they’re not, wrap them with foam insulation

Here’s a quick walkthrough on how to insulate your pipes.

Consider additional wall insulation

Sometimes pipes inside of exterior walls freeze because there isn’t enough insulation in the wall to keep the pipe warm. This is especially true in older homes that aren’t as insulated as today’s newer homes.

In these cases, it can be beneficial to add insulation to the exterior walls. It’s a lot of work and mess, but it can prevent serious water damage in the future.

Keep the garage door closed at night

If you have pipes in your garage, make sure you shut the garage door at night. This helps hold in the heat from your home and helps prevent the pipes from freezing

Use this checklist for especially cold nights

When the temperature drops into the single digits at night, take a few more precautions to keep pipes from bursting:

  • Open cabinets under kitchen and bathroom sinks to let in more warm air from your home.
  • Let your faucets trickle. If you have pipes running through unheated spaces, leave a faucet on at a trickle. This can help prevent your pipes from freezing and also keep them from bursting if they do freeze.
  • Don’t turn your furnace down. Although setting your furnace lower at night can lower your energy costs, avoid doing so on very cold nights.

And if you have a problem, get it taken care of quickly!

If you do have a pipe burst, don’t put off fixing it. We’re here for you—anytime—in the Twin Cities area. Just call (651) 315-8275 or contact us online.

Categories: Plumbing