We all understand basic science, which tells us that when water freezes, it expands. If water freezes in your pipes, can you imagine what a disaster that would cause? Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and with Minnesota approaching its coldest month of the year, it’s time to review tips to ensure your pipes don’t freeze this January and cause chaos in your home.
Insulate Pipes and Install Heat Cables
Insulating your pipes is a great way to prevent them from freezing and bursting. If your water pipes are in areas of the home that are unheated, insulating them is an especially great idea. Alone, insulation might not be enough for those below zero days, so you should also consider installing heat cables in conjunction with insulation. The thermostat in the cable will turn the heat on when it senses that the temperatures have dropped.
Seal and Insulate
In addition to insulating your pipes, you also need to consider insulating and sealing other parts of your home, such as rim joists and exterior walls. This will prevent cold drafts from entering the home. Just be sure you don’t seal a pipe off from much-needed warm air.
Are you going to be away for the weekend or do you work long hours away from the home? It might be time to invest in a Wi-Fi thermostat that alerts you when temperatures in your home drop. You can set up the alerts to go directly to your smartphone. You can adjust the temperature through your phone to prevent temps from dipping too low and causing issues with your pipes. If you’re out of town for an extended period of time, you may want to shut off the water entirely.
Is your thermostat programmed to drop a few degrees at night while you sleep? When we reach those frigid days, refrain from relying on your go-to thermostat programming. It’s best to keep temperatures steady throughout day and night. In fact, you may even want to bump your furnace up a couple degrees higher than normal.
It might seem like an odd tip, but leaving your faucets on to let out a slow trickle of water will make all the difference on those record-breaking, low-temperature days. If your pipes are freezing, this will relieve the pressure and help prevent them from cracking. Don’t do this if your drain is on an exterior wall, though. The drain could freeze and lead to an overflow.
On those extreme temperature days, you’ll also want to open the doors below sinks that house your pipes. This lets the warm air circulate to your pipes.
If your pipes do happen to freeze this winter, don’t panic. We can help! Call Royal Renovations for 24/7 emergency service.