Temperatures start to plummet during the winter months, leaving your water pipes a hazard if left unattended. This can prove to be catastrophic if you are away for the holidays or on a vacation. Luckily, there are some precautions you can take while away to make sure your pipes do not freeze and burst in the sub-zero temperatures winter brings.
Never turn off your heat in the winter
When you leave for the holidays, a long week or even a family vacation, saving money on your electric bill may seem like a smart idea. But, turning the temperature in your home down too low can cause your pipes to freeze and potentially burst. At a minimum, your home’s thermostat should be set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that homeowners set their thermostats to 68 degrees Fahrenheit when homeowners are home and awake.
Get a house sitter
If you intend to leave your home unattended for long periods of time, you might want to consider hiring a house sitter or asking a trusted friend or family member to occasionally check on your home. It’s better to catch a water leak or burst pipe sooner rather than later to make sure it does not permanently damage your home.
Another option for homeowners who are leaving for long periods of time is to get their water turned off and drain their pipes. This is something we recommend to snowbirds or people who go down south for the winter months. Make sure that you turn on all the faucets and hoses within the home to make sure all the water currently in the pipes is also drained out.
If your pipes are prone to freezing
If you’ve already experienced pipes freezing within your home, there are a few ways to ward off causing future damage to your pipes this winter. A quick fix is allowing your faucet to drip slightly to prevent pressure from building up in the pipes. Pressure building within the pipes is what causes pipes to burst in cold weather. Make sure that you allow both the cold water and hot water faucets to drip.
Another quick fix to avoid frozen pipes is opening cabinet doors. Many pipes are housed within the cabinets of bathrooms and kitchens. These rooms often rely on heating throughout other parts of the home to keep them warm. By opening the cabinet doors, it allows for warmer air to circulate around the pipes, which can prevent freezing.
Consider if more insulation is needed
When pipes are prone to freezing, you can apply heating tape to problematic pipes. This only works if there are only a few pipes that freeze during extra cold temperatures. This is often only prescribed as a quick fix. If this keeps occurring, you might want to consider more permanent measures to correct the problem.
A more permanent correction to freezing pipes is adding insulation. Depending on where your pipes are located will determine what insulation will best suit your needs. Consulting with a renovation professional will help you determine how to best prevent bursting pipes within your home.
If disaster does strike this winter and causes your pipes to burst, our emergency repair professionals at Royal Renovations have got you covered. Call us today if you have experienced frozen pipes in the past and we can get you outfitted for the upcoming winter season. Royal Renovations is here before and after disaster strikes.