Freezing temperatures can cause serious damage to your pipes and faucets - how should you handle them and protect your home so they don't cause damage in the first place?
This is an important part of home maintenance in the winter - burst pipes can be a real headache when it's cold outside and all you want to do is come home to a nice hot shower. It can also be a pain considering insurance can deny water damage caused by your burst pipe claim if you are found negligent. So let's discuss prevention:
- Maintain a temperature inside the home of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit- Saving money by turning the temperature down in the winter is a trick most homeowners like to use in the winter. However, if the temperature is too low, the water will freeze inside the pipes, causing it to expand and burst the pipe. Even if you are planning to head somewhere warmer for the winter, you must maintain the temperature of your home while you are away.
- Insulate exposed pipes and faucets - Pipes that are outside or closer to the edges of the home are going to be colder and should be cared for first. Faucet covers can be purchased from gardening and home improvement stores (e.g. Lowes or Home Depot) and can be easily applied to hose faucets to help protect against freezing. Pipe insulation can also be bought and easily put around at-risk piping to help maintain safe temperature within the pipe.
- Leave a little water running - You don't have to run your water much to relieve pressure in your pipes. I small drip or trickle keeps the water moving and will then be at a lesser risk of freezing than stationary water. If freezing does occur this will also relieve pressure and help prevent bursting, hopefully providing enough time for the freeze to thaw without damaging the pipe.
If your pipes freeze try warming the pipe with a hair dryer or heat gun. Start from the area closest to the faucet and work your way towards the coldest part of the pipe. If you need further assistance or are worried about further freezing, call a plumber to insulate the pipes.
If your frozen pipe bursts turn off your water supply ASAP to prevent further damage and call a water restoration company to dry out your home. Contact your insurance agent to file the claim and discuss your options moving forwards.
Caring for your home during the winter is incredibly important. It is your safe place in the cold when the weather outside is frightful, and you want to keep it warm and delightful. Any damage to your home that can cause you to lose that security or even displace you can feel even more inconvenient when cold drafts and expensive bills can be easily avoided.
We hope these tips have helped to keep this in mind and if you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to reach out to us - we are happy to help. Click here to watch our video on burst pipes and learn more about how you can protect your home!
If you would like to learn more, you can click here to visit the Red Cross website to read an article about frozen and burst pipes as well.
The Lofton Wells Team