It’s that time of year again. Winter months bring frigid, snowy weather to many states. We scramble through the house getting out our cold-weather clothing. We make sure to have our furnaces checked and winterize our automobiles with antifreeze. But one thing we often forget to check is our water pipes.
Burst pipes in winter can be a major issue for homeowners. Pipe repairs are costly, and the inconvenience is immeasurable. Even in warmer southern states, homeowners need to take precautions to prevent pipes bursting in winter.
Why Do Water Pipes Burst in the Winter?
How do pipes burst? Water pipes burst because accumulated water inside the pipe freezes. When this happens, the expanding ice creates pressure inside the pipe. As a result, the pipe can crack. A small crack can release approximately 250 gallons of water a day.
Pipes bursting in winter can also cause structural damage to your home that can be expensive to repair. So to avoid these issues, here are some things you need to know about how to keep pipes from bursting:
1. Properly Insulate Your Pipes
One way to prevent burst pipes is to add insulation around them. Any home improvement center will sell foam insulation designed for this purpose. You can wrap the insulation around the pipes to protect them from dropping temperatures.
Another option is to wrap the pipe with heat tape or thermostatically controlled cables. But first, you should make sure the products are UL-approved for safety standards.
2. Seal All Leaks or Cracks
Inspect your home for any leaks or cracks that allow cold air to come inside. Caulk around windows, electrical wiring, and dryer vents to protect nearby pipes.
3. Open Some Doors, but Close Others
Another way to prevent pipe bursting issues is to open the interior doors in your home. Doing this will allow heat to circulate throughout the house more efficiently. Also, leaving your cabinet doors open allows heat to reach the pipes under your sinks.
One door you want to leave closed is the garage door. Keeping cold air away from your outside walls can protect the pipes. So closing the garage doors adds a little extra protection.
4. Leave Faucets Running
Leaving the water dripping seems wasteful, but it can help protect pipes in winter. Gradually running water, even a trickle, can save you the expense and hassle brought by bursting pipes.
5. Check the Temperature in Your Home
You should try to prevent temperatures below 32 degrees in areas where pipes are located. Leaving the thermostat on the same setting day and night can help. Pipes freeze at night when temperatures are the lowest.
6. Call a Plumbing Expert
If you’re not sure whether you’ve detected all potential trouble spots, contact a professional plumber. They know what to look for and can make recommendations on how to avoid burst pipes.
Hearn Can Solve Your Burst Pipe Issues
Did you do your best but still end up with pipes bursting? Don’t panic. Contact Hearn Plumbing, Heating & Air right away.
Our team of experts will find a solution and fix your problem promptly and affordably. We’ll have your plumbing back to normal in no time.