Old Man Winter isn’t going away any time soon—in fact, we have some extremely cold weather ahead of us. Upstate New York residents are no stranger to brutal temperatures and the problems that they can cause. One of the worst is frozen pipes. Frozen and burst pipes can not only be inconvenient but also very damaging and expensive. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to help prevent this problem!
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes: Simple Tips to Follow
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent your pipes from freezing (or worse, bursting):
- Seal air leaks. By keeping frigid air away from the plumbing, the chance of frozen pipes drops significantly. Look for and seal leaks around dryer vents, electrical wiring, and the pipes themselves.
- Disconnect garden hoses and shut off the drain water. Ideally, this should be done in the fall to prevent the pipes connected to outdoor faucets from freezing, but take care of this now if you haven’t!
- Trickle water from your faucets. Cold water is fine, just so long as it’s constantly flowing and doesn’t have a chance to settle in the pipes.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors (and any other doors where there’s plumbing). This way, warm air in living spaces brings some heat to the piping under the sinks.
- Insulate your pipes or wrap them with heat tape. The temperature alert threshold for frozen pipes is 20 degrees. In New York, the temperature often drops below this, so insulate any pipes that run through your attic and crawl space.
Going on vacation or leaving for an extended period of time? It’s recommended to set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees. This many not seem the most energy-efficient, but you don’t want to come home to frozen or burst pipes, which can cost thousands of dollars in damage!
What If My Pipe Bursts?
To stop water from flowing out of a burst pipe, locate the main water shut-off valve and turn it off (turn it clockwise to stop water flow). The valve will likely be located by the water heater or in the basement (or crawl space) or garage. Then call your insurance company and your go-to local plumbing company.
The team at MIG Building Systems has your insulation needs covered, but we also want to keep you informed of other ways to take care of your home. One of the most important home tips in the winter is preventing frozen pipes.