How to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing This Winter

Frozen water on burst pipe

When the temperature outside dips below freezing, the last thing you want is for your pipes to freeze. Unfortunately, it's a reality for many homeowners. The good news is that you can take some easy steps to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter. In this blog, our plumbing experts will shed some light on the dangers of frozen pipes and how to prevent this from happening.

The Dangers of Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are more than just a nuisance. They can cause minor inconveniences, and they can also cause severe damage to your home. Let's take a look at some of the potential problems that can arise from frozen pipes:

Lack of Running Water

The first and most obvious problem is that if your pipes are frozen, you will not have any running water. This can be a huge inconvenience, especially if you have to go to the bathroom or try to cook dinner.

Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are perhaps the most severe problem that can occur as a result of frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands. That expansion can cause even the sturdiest of pipes to burst. If your pipes burst, you'll be dealing with flooding and water damage, neither of which are fun. Not to mention, you'll also have a hefty repair bill on your hands.

Mold and Mildew

If your pipes burst, you also risk mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew thrive in wet environments, so if your home floods due to burst pipes, you'll need to take action to prevent mold and mildew development.

Increased Water Bills

Even if your pipes don't burst, you'll still be dealing with consequences. Namely, you'll see a spike in your water bill as the water runs through your faucets 24/7 to try to thaw the ice.

Damaged Appliances

Finally, if the water pressure in your home is too low because of frozen pipes, that low pressure can cause damage to your appliances. Your homeowners' insurance may not cover this damage, so keeping your pipes running is essential.

How Can I Prevent My Pipes From Freezing?

Pipe problems caused by cold weather can be serious but also preventable. By taking some proactive steps now, you can avoid frozen pipes and the headaches that come with them.

Insulate your Pipes

If you have exposed pipes in your basement or crawlspace, or if they run along an exterior wall, take proactive steps to insulate them before the cold weather hits. You can purchase prepackaged foam pipe insulation at most hardware stores or online; cut it to size and slip it over each pipe for added protection against freezing temps.

If you do not want to insulate your pipes by yourself, a licensed plumber will be able to do it for you. They have the knowledge and experience to get the job done right and can ensure your pipes are protected from freezing temperatures.

Let the Water Drip

One of the most effective ways to prevent your pipes from freezing is also one of the easiest: Just let the water drip overnight, especially during extreme cold snaps. Running water is less likely to freeze than standing water, so even a trickle from each faucet will help keep your pipes from turning into ice cubes.

Keep Your Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinet Doors Open

When temperatures plunge, the air inside your home can get just as cold. That cold air can seep into your plumbing through cracks and openings like those around your sink baseboards or vents. Keeping cabinet doors open allows warmer air to circulate these vulnerable areas and helps prevent freezing pipes.

Install an Outdoor Faucet Cover

An outdoor faucet cover looks like a small sock or sleeve that you slip over the fixture to insulate it. These are available at most hardware stores for a few dollars apiece. Just make sure you get one that's rated for below-freezing temperatures.

Apply Heat Tape

Heat tape or pipe heating cable is available at most hardware stores and home improvement centers, and it's designed specifically for frozen pipes prevention. Wrap it around your exposed pipes, plug it into an outlet, and let it do its job!

All Drain Plumbing

If your home has been damaged due to frozen pipes, our team at All Drain & Sewer Cleaning can assess the situation and determine the best course of action. Give us a call (937) 777-3409, so we can take care of those leaks before they cause further damage.