Tips For Preventing Burst Pipes This Winter 

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When a pipe bursts or freezes, you have an emergency. A broken pipe can cause significant damage to your home as well as to your belongings. During frigid temperatures and long freezing winters, a pipe is more likely to be damaged. Pipes in your home’s exterior walls and those in unheated areas are most likely to be affected. 

Damage can be expensive and inconvenient, but preventative measures can be taken to avoid damage in the first place.  

  1. Repairing a Burst Pipe 

The water damage must be repaired first if you discover the broken pipe. You can deploy experts to manage burst pipe cleanup efficiently. However, the first phase involves regulating the water.  You should immediately turn off your main water supply. Burst pipes can release a significant amount of water. After dealing with this, you can identify the section of the pipe that has ruptured. If the pipe has a little crack, you can temporarily repair it before changing the damaged portion.  

The damage to your home and goods can be reduced by calling a professional firm immediately to remove the water promptly and efficiently. This short guide has been put together to help you avoid the hassle and stress of a burst pipe damaging your home. 

  1. Make Sure Pipes Are Insulated 

Even in milder climates, exposed pipes can freeze. There are several methods for keeping those pipes cozy, like a bug on a rug. One approach is to insulate the pipes in your home. Foam insulation can be purchased at almost any home improvement store. Wrap the foam around the pipe to protect it from the elements. Wrapping your pipes in heat tape or using thermostatically controlled heat cables are two other options for keeping them warm.  

3. Let Your Faucet Drip 

Most people consider a dripping faucet a problem that must be addressed. However, allowing your faucet to drip slightly during the winter is beneficial. 

Consider allowing a slow drip from your faucets to reduce pressure buildup in the pipes if your water pipes pass through unheated or unprotected enclosed spaces. Even if the water in a pipe does freeze, the pressure released by a slow drip may reduce the likelihood of a pipe rupture. Low pressure means that those pipes are less likely to burst. 

  1. Seal Up Cracks and Leaks 

This time of year, caulk should be your best friend. You want to keep as much cold air out as possible. Perform a thorough inspection of your home to identify any air leaks. Look near dryer vents, windows, electrical wiring, and, of course, pipes. Once you’ve located them, a standard caulk gun and caulk should suffice to seal the leaks and keep the chill at bay. 

  1. Open Those Doors 

Most people do not believe that the pipes beneath their kitchen or bathroom sinks are at risk of bursting. After all, they’re inside your house, where you keep the temperature comfortable. However, because they are frequently located along exterior walls and spend most of their time behind closed cupboard doors, they are vulnerable to freezing. On the coldest days of the year, open cabinet doors to let the heat from your house enter and warm the pipes. Whether you’re at home or away, the American Red Cross recommends leaving your house’s interior doors open. This allows the heat to circulate more efficiently throughout the home. This also allows heat to get closer to the pipes, lowering the risk of them freezing. 

  1. Disconnect/Shut Off The Water 

If you’re leaving town for an extended time, think about turning off your main water line and draining your water system. As a result, no water will remain inside your home’s pipes to freeze and burst them. 

However, it is advised that this would not be a wise choice if you have a fire protection system. Your fire system won’t function if you turn off the water main. Disconnect all those exterior water hoses if cutting off your water main isn’t viable. These hoses’ water could freeze and leak back into your house. 

  1. Install smart technology 

You can install the following to ensure further that your property stays dry and damage-free from water: 

  • Sensors for low temperatures that inform your monitored alarm system when it gets close to freezing 
  • Thermostats for “smart homes” that you can access and manage online 
  • Permanent backup generators that turn on your heating system automatically when the power goes out 
  • Water leak detection devices that turn off your water supply immediately if one develops 
  1. Understand plumbing 

Determine the location of your plumbing lines and water shutoff valves to be ready for a potential disaster. Always ensure quick access to the main water shutoff in an emergency. Depending on the age of your home, the location can be different but start by looking in your garage, basement, or laundry room. Look beneath your lawn. Every year, call a professional plumber team to maintain your plumbing and heating systems so you can be aware of any difficulties and take care of them before they grow into bigger problems. 

  1. Keep thermostats in outbuildings and second homes at 65 degrees. 

If your home has numerous heating zones in places like the basement or attic, or if you have a pool house or smaller guest house on your property, you’ll want to keep the temperature in these regions set at a minimum of 65 degrees to avoid pipes from freezing in the winter.  

Yes, paying to keep the heat on while you’re away from home is challenging to contemplate. However, maintaining a warm home and avoiding pipe bursts will result in long-term financial savings. Repairing water damage will set you back thousands. And it is much more than the few extra dollars it would add to your heating bill. 

  1. Pipe-containing exterior walls should be insulated. 

Compared to inside walls, exterior walls can get substantially cooler. To ensure that your pipes are protected, install an additional layer of insulation if you have plumbing in outside walls. Consider re-insulating or utilizing spray foam to enhance protection if you see moisture or mold on the inner wall surface, surface cracks, nail pops or if your walls feel cool to the touch. 

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Many of us are rushing to get out of our cozy sweaters, gather firewood, and have our furnaces checked as the winter months bring snow and cold to many. But there’s one thing many of us forget to do as we prepare for the long winter months: winterizing our water pipes

We shouldn’t skip making these essential preparations for colder winters, even though some live in warmer climates. Even citizens of the ordinarily friendly southern states can experience chilly spells and snow, as we’ve already experienced this month! Because the pipes in these homes are not accustomed to cooler temperatures, they also require protection. 

Kevin Peter