3 Ways To Prepare Your Pipes for Winter Weather
Between the holidays, the beautiful blankets of snow, and the fun of cozying up by the fire, winter can be a magical time. But in some regions, it can also be incredibly harsh. The snow and ice, the below-freezing temperatures, and the longer nights can take quite a toll. And one thing that’s especially susceptible to the effects of frigid winter weather is a home’s plumbing system.
If a water supply pipe freezes - which is an all-too-common occurrence in cold climates - it can burst and do extensive damage to the home, even in a matter of a few minutes. So this article will give homeowners three of the best ways to protect their pipes from the cold this winter!
Insulate the Home’s Pipes
The first way to prevent frozen pipes is to make sure the pipes are well insulated. One way to do this is to insulate the area in which the pipes are located. For instance, if there are a lot of pipes in the home’s attic or crawlspace, adding insulation to the walls may be a good idea to keep the space from getting too cold during a freeze.
A more popular (and often more practical) solution is to insulate the pipes themselves. Pipe insulation comes in many forms, from simple foam or fibreglass sleeves that wrap around the pipes to spray foam insulation, which is most often used for pipes in very tight spaces such as inside walls. No matter which type is used, pipe insulation is highly effective in keeping pipes at their normal internal temperature and protecting against freezing.
Shut Off Water To Outdoor Faucets
The second way to protect the home’s pipes against the cold is to turn off the water supply to outdoor hose bibs. The home’s outdoor faucets and the connected pipes are the most vulnerable to freezing since they’re the most exposed. Even if they can be accessed and insulated, these pipes are generally outside the home’s heated envelope, so they won’t benefit from any of the radiant heat coming from the home’s interior.
If below-freezing temperatures persist for more than a few hours, any water in these pipes will begin to freeze. That’s why it’s best to turn off their water supply and drain the lines entirely - empty pipes won’t burst. This “winterization” isn’t always a simple task, so homeowners who have never done it themselves may want to hire a professional plumber to do it for them.
Keep the Heater On
Thirdly, keeping the home’s pipes safe from freezing temperatures outside depends upon keeping the home’s internal temperature up. Generally speaking, the warmer the house is, the warmer the pipes will be. On particularly cold nights, it’s even a good idea to open the doors of any cabinets or cupboards on perimeter walls to allow more warmth to reach the pipes.
This is usually easy enough when everyone is home, but it’s important to remember when going out of town or leaving the house for several hours at a time. As a general rule, the home should be kept at 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) or higher when the house is empty to help prevent frozen pipes.
So it’s a good idea to make sure the home’s heating system is in good shape and working correctly, especially before doing any holiday travelling. After all, no one wants to come home to a burst pipe just because the heater broke down while they were on vacation. Keeping up on routine heater maintenance and inspections won’t just help the home be cozier this winter, but it will also keep the plumbing system flowing smoothly!
About Guardian Plumbing and Drain
Guardian Plumbing and Drain has been proudly serving the Cobourg community for years. Their certified, trustworthy technicians always show up on time and provide up-front pricing, free estimates, and a 100% guarantee on all services. Guardian also offers same-day service for those issues that just can’t wait - so call them today for frozen pipe repair in Cobourg, ON!