The onset of winter weather can take us by surprise. One day we are enjoying a crisp, cool fall day and suddenly the overnight temperatures have plunged to below freezing. Don’t wait until the thermometer dips to record overnight lows. Get your home ready for winter now and avoid expensive plumbing problems later.
Insulate Your Pipes
Insulate pipes in the unheated areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces and garages. Use insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Measuring the outside diameter of your pipes will ensure that you choose the right size of tubing. Take special care with pipes that have been recently repaired or have frozen in previous winters as they are the most likely to freeze in the future. In northern and Midwestern locations that experience long, frigid winters, consider adding heat tape to your insulation plan. Be sure to check and follow the manufacturer’s directions to avoid doing damage.
Cut Cold Air Off at the Source
Exposure to freezing air can quickly cause pipes to freeze. Sealing exterior cracks in the foundation and fixing broken basement windows will block the winter air from reaching the interior of your home. Homes with ventilated crawl spaces are also at risk for frozen pipes. Use thick cardboard and duct tape to cover vents and block frigid air from reaching your home’s water supply pipes.
Become a Weather Watcher
As cold weather approaches, keep an eye on the evening forecasts. Water pipes are most likely to freeze when outside temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Even if you have taken the above-listed precautions, you can never be too careful. Most people think frozen pipes burst at the location where the water freezes in the pipe. Actually, the pipe bursts in a location between the frozen pipe and the faucet. As the water freezes, pressure builds between the ice and the faucet. Leaving your faucets dripping at night can alleviate the pressure and prevent you from waking up to a crisis in the morning.
Water is a home’s worst enemy. In addition to broken pipes, clogged basement drains and failing sump pumps can lead to extensive interior water damage. If you find water where it shouldn’t be, don’t try to tackle this yourself. Contact a licensed plumbing company like Crawford Mechanical Services immediately. We can quickly locate the source of water, repair the damaged plumbing, and help you get the space dried out before mold and mildew can take hold. Call us now at 614-478-9424 for an in-home assessment. We can identify and rectify your home’s plumbing problem areas before Old Man Winter and his cold, damaging wind come visiting.