Like most Cincinnati, OH, homeowners, you’ve done a lot already to prepare your home for winter. But have you taken the necessary measures to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting? A burst pipe can wreak havoc in your home, leaving you with bills of up to $5,000 in water damage cleanup and repair fees. Luckily, there are some measures you can take to protect your pipes from the frigid winter temperatures.
When Do Pipes Freeze?
Pipes start freezing when the temperatures outside get close to 32°F. That said, it is crucial to understand that even if you live in a warmer climate, your pipes are still prone to freezing since they are most likely not well insulated to handle colder temperatures.
Pipes in the attic, basement, or crawl space of your home are likely to freeze because they run through areas that are generally colder than other parts of the house. Pay special attention to pipes in these colder parts when taking precautionary measures to prevent frozen pipes.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter
Before the onset of cold weather, do the following to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting.
Assess the Shape of Your Pipes
Age is a significant factor in whether pipes will burst. Generally, older pipes are more prone to bursting. If your pipes are nearing their expiration date, it is wise that you hire a plumber to have them replaced.
Another crucial factor to consider is pipe material. Some piping materials like PVC, copper, and galvanized steel are not flexible, making them prone to bursting during winter. We highly recommend investing in polyethylene (PEX) tubing, which is highly flexible and less likely to rupture when water freezes.
Let Your Faucets Drip
When water freezes, it expands and exerts a lot of pressure on your pipes. If not released, this pressure eventually causes your pipes to burst. Running water, even a small drip, creates friction, which produces a small amount of heat. This heat makes it harder for the water to form ice blockages, taking the pressure off your pipes and your plumbing system as a whole.
Open the Cabinets
Leave the cabinets under your kitchen and bathroom sinks open to keep warm air circulating around your pipes. The heated air will prevent ice from forming in your pipes and reduce pressure buildup that can rupture them.
Seal Cracks and Openings
The cracks in your home’s walls or foundation let in cold outdoor air, which speeds up the freezing process. Inspect the areas around your pipes for holes and cracks. Seal these holes with caulk to prevent drafts of air from leaking into your home.
Do this for both the interior and exterior walls to prevent water from leaking into your home, which can quickly damage your home, especially during the winter months.
Manage your Heat
While the thought of leaving your heater on for long periods might not be appealing to you, it is still a much more affordable option than replacing burst or broken pipes. What’s more, you do not have to crank up your furnace to prevent pipes from freezing.
Drain Your Pipes
If you are taking a trip during winter, consider draining your pipes to prevent them from bursting. Shut off the main valve, then turn on all the taps in your home. Let the water flow until the pipes run empty.
The attic, crawl space, and basement are the areas in your home most prone to the cold. One way to combat frozen pipes in these areas is to insulate their walls. Insulation helps prevent heat loss. This way, your home gets to stay warm throughout winter.
At Ohio Basement Authority, we provide homeowners with the best possible solutions to combat frozen pipes and protect their homes. Contact us today to schedule a free basement waterproofing and quote.