Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Can you believe winter is here already? Whether or not we’re ready for the bitter cold and mounds of snow, the next season has arrived with a bang! Besides breaking out your winter jacket, snow shovel and ice scraper, there is one way you need to prepare your home.

If not properly winterized, pipes in the winter can be very damaging to your home and property. Minnesota homes are typically built with water pipes located on the inside of the building insulation, which protects the pipes from freezing weather. However, when weather becomes extremely cold or there are holes in the building that allow a flow of cold air to come into contact with pipes, it can lead to freezing – which may lead to busted pipes. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are the most vulnerable to freezing.
The first thing you should always remember to do is to wrap any pipes located in exposed or unheated areas to prevent them from freezing. Ask an associate at a local hardware store for the best materials to use.

Another way to prepare your home and protect your pipes is to seal off any openings. Be sure to cover up any doors, open cracks and air vents not used during the winter months. You can also install an electric fan on the furnace and direct it to blow hot air onto exposed basement water pipes.

Finally, always be mindful of your home’s temperature. This is especially important if you leave for a vacation. Turning thermostat down may save on a heating bill but be sure to leave it a reasonable temperature. We recommend no lower than 55 degrees.

If you suspect that you may have a frozen pipe, don’t take any chances- call a plumber immediately. If a water pipe bursts, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and leave all faucets open. We highly recommend you do not try and fix this issue yourself for it may only cause more problems in the end.

Do you have any other winter tips for keeping your pipes in tip-top shape? Comment and share them below!