When it comes to pipes, some of them are just more prone to freezing than the others. This is due to their location in the house, and a colder climate can play a role in this. Pipes are more at risk from freezing if they are exposed in the areas of the home that are not heated, if they are placed in exterior walls or, overall, if there is any plumbing on the exterior of the home. Luckily, no matter how dangerous and tedious this situation can be, there are some solutions for preventing your pipes from freezing.
Turn off Water
Pipes are most vulnerable during the winter. Cold weather can damage pipes and lead to the bursting of water supply hoses on any of the machines in your home and to frozen pipes. Such events are not that concerning when you are at home, ready to deal with the problem. However, it gets more concerning when you are not at home for a few days and a pipe freezes, bursts and pumps the water into your house, causing plenty of damage. However, you can easily relieve yourself from such a burden and stress by simply turning off the main water valve before leaving. If there is no water in the pipes, the chance of freezing are lower and you will reduce the risks of any other damages.
Fiberglass can greatly help you protect the pipes from freezing. It is not the nicest job in the world, but you need to do it in order to ensure a safe future for your home. So, jump over to the home center and purchase a package or two of unfaced fiberglass insulation. Also, get a dust mask, work gloves, disposable coveralls and a package of utility knife blades and take care of the pipes. Cover all the crawl spaces, attic and out-of-way places and install the needed insulation on the unprotected pipes. You will get your hands dirty, but you will be sure the pipes will be protected and safe from freezing during cold winters.
Install a Heating Cable
Sometimes, the insulation of pipes just isn’t enough, especially if you live in a cold climate. In such cases, it is the best to install an electrical heating cable around the out-of-reach pipes, advises a seasoned Monmouth County plumber. Experienced plumbers will always recommend such a solution, and to make things better, such a cable is suitable both for metal and plastic pipes. Also, the cable will automatically adjust to the appropriate heat output along with the changes in temperature. However, you should never wrap the cable around itself, because it could start a fire. Instead, place it along the pipe and secure it with plastic ties.
Leave the Cabinet Doors Open
If your kitchen is near the exterior wall, you are facing the risk of having frozen pipes behind the sink. That is why it is recommended to leave the cabinet doors open and let the warm air from inside the house reach the pipes. So, whenever you are leaving home, or you know you won’t be using the kitchen sink for a while, leave the doors open and heat up the pipes.
Update the Insulation
If you had issues with the frozen pipes in the past, developed mold or built up moisture, the problem is in the insulation of the exterior wall. This is the sign that your house needs better insulation, which can be costly, but it will pay off. You can even opt for some “greener” types of insulation that will protect the pipes and preserve the heat in your home, lowering the bills in general. However, if this is too expensive, you can always reroute the pipes, but the cost of such work will depend on how far you have to move them.
Frozen pipes are a major problem for all the homeowners in colder climates. Be smart and think ahead; improve the insulation and heat the pipes as much as you can. Don’t risk unnecessary mess, damage and costs when you can do something to prevent all that.