If you’ve never had any pipes in your home freeze, count your lucky stars. If you have, you know the hassle and mess it creates. We want to make sure you don’t have to deal with frozen pipes – ever. So here are some simple steps from A+ Insulation to prevent freezing pipes.
Easy Fix for Pipes on Outside Walls
Most of the year, the temperatures in the Kansas City area are mild enough that they don’t cause problems with pipes. But once the temperature drops below 20 degrees, precautions should be taken. When temperatures plummet below 20 degrees, it can cause pipes on outside walls to freeze and burst. Pay special attention to pipes on outside walls. When you know the temperatures are really low, open the cabinet doors in front of your sinks. This allows the warm air inside your home to get to the pipes and raise the temperature of the water inside. All it takes is two seconds.
Trickle, Trickle, Trickle
Another 2-second fix is to turn your faucets on just to a trickle. Let them run overnight when temperatures get to their lowest. The moving water prevents the water inside the pipes from freezing solid.
Don’t Allow Indecent Exposure
Pipes that are exposed will freeze faster than insulated pipes – cover them! Check your basement attic, and garage where pipes can be forgotten about. Again pipes that are near outside walls or in a drafty area will be more at risk of freezing. A+ Insulation offers basement, garage, and crawl space insulation. But, in the meantime, insulating just your pipes is easy and affordable. Pipe insulation is usually a foam or cloth covering that clips right onto your pipe in two seconds to keep it from freezing. Your local hardware store should have a variety of foam and cloth coverings that are designed exactly for this purpose so they are fast and easy to install. (Okay, the two seconds doesn’t cover the trip to the hardware store, but the actual installation is easy peasy.)
Outside Faucets Have Nowhere to Hide
Outside faucets are outside, so they will freeze faster too. Double check for any hoses you forgot to detach at the end of the fall season. Hoses will hold water in the pipe and cause it to freeze. You can Install an exterior, insulated faucet jacket. Again, easy to install and affordable at your local home improvement store. Pick one up while you’re there getting the pipe cover above and save yourself the trip.
Don’t Be a Sump Pump Chump
Cold weather brings snow and snow piles up, so don’t forget to check the area where your sump pump drains. Snow can drift and restrict your water drainage. If the drainage area is blocked by snow or flowing into a puddle, the whole system could back up into your basement. Remember to check the area around your sump pump discharge line outside your home whenever it snows more than a few inches.
We hope these tips will help keep your faucets thawed and running this winter. One word of caution, if your pipes do freeze, do not try to thaw them with a blow torch. Too many homeowners have caught their homes on fire attempting to thaw pipes this way. Use a hair dryer instead.
Now that we’ve covered pipe insulation, give A+ Insulation a call if you need home insulation. We can save you big money on your heating and cooling bills.