Frozen pipes are one of the most common plumbing problems in the winter and can create a huge mess. If a frozen pipe bursts in your home, it will result in water damage. That is why you have to be properly prepared before the cold temperatures set in. Here are six effective ways to prevent frozen pipes this winter:
Do not Keep Your Thermostat Too Low
Keeping your thermostat set at a very low temperature might save you a lot of money on heating bills, but it is not so good for your pipes. If it is too cold in your house, your pipes are more likely to burst. Your thermostat should never be set lower than 55 degrees, even when you are away on a trip.
Insulate Your Pipes
If your pipes are old and poorly insulated, you should think about insulating them with fiberglass insulation. It will keep heat from escaping out of the pipes, which will prevent freezing.
Use a Space Heater
Pipes in the basement and other colder areas of the house are more likely to freeze, so think about placing a space heater by them. The space heater does not have to make the room hot; it just has to keep it warm enough to prevent frozen pipes.
Keep Your Cabinets Open
A simple way to avoid frozen pipes is to open up the cabinet doors in your kitchen. This will let heat reach poorly insulated pipes under your sinks.
Let Your Faucets Drip
If you allow cold and hot water to drip out of your faucets overnight, you will be less likely to experience frozen pipes. Letting your faucets drip will keep water moving steadily through your pipes, preventing them from freezing.
Fill Gaps in Foundation
If your house has a crawlspace, you should periodically check the foundation there for gaps. Even very small gaps in foundation walls can cause your pipes to freeze. If you find any gaps, you can easily fill them with caulk.
If you take the necessary precautions, you will be less likely to experience frozen pipes this winter. However, if your pipes still do freeze, you should open the faucet they run through to help relieve some of the pressure. Then, heat the pipe with a portable space heater, hair dryer or heat lamp. If that still does not work, you should call a plumber as soon as possible.