December 21st officially ushered the Winter Season in though in some parts of the country the cold starts much earlier. While there have been many amazing advances in modern society we still can’t predict exactly how cold the winter will be. Winter storms have already ravaged some areas and in others very cold weather and snow may well be on the way. And the cold can take a toll on a home.
That’s why it is so important to protect your home and winterize it now, before the a major and prolonged cold blasts does comes through. Frozen pipes can burst and become a very expensive problem. Taking early precautions will help you protect your casa, your familia AND your wallet:
Our friends at Mr. Rooter plumbing offer 10 tips that will help you keep your pipes from bursting when temperatures plummet this winter
How-To Spare Your Pipes From Winter’s Grip
Here are 10 simple tips that will help homeowners keep their pipes from bursting when temperatures plummet this winter:
- Insulate your pipes: Cover faucets and exposed pipes with insulation or wrap thick towels around them.
- Secure basement doors, windows and crawl space openings: Caulk, seal and weather-strip.
- Drain outside waterlines: Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets, close interior valves that lead to outside hose taps and open hose taps to drain.
- Apply electrically-powered tape to pipes: follow manufacturer’s instructions or call your local Mr. Rooter to do this.
- Wrap your water heater with an approved manufacturer’s blanket.
- Open cabinet doors. This allows heat to circulate and keeps interior pipes warm.
- Keep faucets running. A small trickle of water or a constant drip is recommended when temperatures drop below freezing for more than 24-hours.
- Don’t set thermostat lower than 55 degrees when traveling. Ask a neighbor to check on your house during below freezing temperatures.
- Locate the main water shut-off valve and learn how to use it in the case of frozen pipes or burst pipes.
- Have a hair dryer handy, in case your pipes do freeze. Heat the exterior of the pipe with the hair dryer by slowly applying the heat and moving the dryer constantly.
The first step to safely thawing frozen pipes is turning off water at the main water shut-off valve. Next, open the nearest faucet to allow water to drain as the ice melts. Now it’s time to use the hair dryer to heat the pipes, or you can wrap a hot, wet rag around pipes. Do not attempt to thaw exposed frozen pipes with an open flame, such as an acetylene torch.
If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer or your pipes burst, be sure to call a qualified plumber.