Even if you live in an area where the weather is relatively nice and sunny most of the time, you’ve still got to worry about the condition of your pipes when winter comes around. A single ice-cold day can wreak havoc on your pipes, but fortunately you don’t need to be a plumber to get your plumbing system ready for winter. In a few do-it-yourself steps, you can avoid the devastation and inconvenience of frozen pipes when the days become short and the nights grow long.
First, Look Around
You’ll want to identify any especially problematic areas of the home, including spaces where plumbing runs along exterior walls and unheated areas where plumbing runs. You’ll also want to look for any uninsulated plumbing, as these exposed pipes are especially vulnerable to freezing during cold temperatures.
You should also be mindful of cracks and any other drafts coming from walls, windows, floors and ceilings. These can make your home colder than it would be otherwise, which heightens the risk of frozen pipes. Holes and cracks should be caulked up to ensure that they will not contribute to this problem now or down the line.
Insulate Your Pipes
Any plumbercould tell you about the importance of insulated pipes. Just like the insulation that you use to keep your home warm, insulation is necessary to keep your pipes warm and ward away ice formation. This is a pretty easy step, since you can buy slip-on insulation sleeves from your local hardware store and apply them to your pipes yourself. When doing so, make sure not to leave any gaps between insulation. These gaps are unprotected and could ice over.
It is also worth knowing that plastic pipes are less vulnerable to becoming frozen than steel or copper pipes. However, that doesn’t mean that you should skip this important step if your pipes are indeed made of plastic. All unprotected water lines are at risk of freezing during the coldest months of the year.
Heat tape is another option that more homeowners are going with these days. However, there are certain fire risks associated with the incorrect use of this tape. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you plan to use heat tape to keep your pipes warm this winter.
Keep the Inside Warm
Inside your home, you should make use of space heaters or another heating element to ensure that your pipes are residing in a warm space. Space heaters are great for areas of the home that your main form of heating doesn’t reach.
Keep the Water Dripping
If you know that the coming day or night will be exceptionally cold, it is a good move to let the water drip from your faucets over that timeframe. This allows water to continuously move throughout your pipes and thus prevent freezing.
Ridgeway Mechanical is Your #1 Plumber
Winter presents unique challenges for our water lines, including freezing that can lead to devastating damage. Fortunately, you’re not helpless against the elements. Follow the steps above to winterize your home yourself. You should also reach out to the expert plumbers at Ridgeway Mechanical to help you ensure that your home’s pipes are protected from the cold. The eye of a professional plumber could catch elements that you may have missed in your DIY efforts.