Preventing Freezing Pipes
November 16, 2016 at 4:31 PM
If you’re a homeowner, you’re aware that winter weather can cause plumbing pipes to freeze and burst. And burst pipes can cause flooding and water damage. We’ll go over the areas of the home where pipes are most t risk for freezing. Considering how long Minnesota winters are, the last thing you should have to worry about is your pipes freezing and bursting.
Dangers of the Garden Hose
Before we get into the pipes inside the home, we want to warn you about your seemingly harmless garden hose. Although the garden hose is outside, it poses a risk to the plumbing inside your home. When water in a garden hose freezes and expands, it creates pressures in your entire plumbing system. To prevent your hose from wreaking having on the rest of your plumbing, do the following:
- Disconnect the hose
- Drain the hose
- Store it away for the season
If your spigot isn’t frost-proof, close the interior shut-off valve leading to the faucet, open/drain the spigot and install a faucet insulator.
Exposed Pipes in Unheated Areas of the Home
Just because an area of your home has a roof over it, doesn’t mean it’s heated. The most common interior areas of the home with that are unheated and have exposed piping are the attic, crawl spaces and the garage. If you live in an area with moderately cold temperatures, foam pipe insulation should be enough to protect pipes from freezing and bursting. If you live in a severely cold climate, you should opt for wrapping problem pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape.
Risks of Exterior Wall Piping
If you’ve noticed water damage, mold or moisture build up in the exterior walls of your home, this is a problem you should address before freezing temperatures arrive. This is caused by one of two things: insufficient insulation or improperly installed insulation. Damage of this level will likely be expensive, especially depending on the scope of the water damage. But it is worth spending money getting repaired for the sake of your home.
Weather Proofing Your Home While You’re Gone
It’s not uncommon for people live in places with long winters like the Midwest to escape for weeks at a time to a warmer climate. If you’re somebody who spends the colder months in a secondary location, it’s important that you weatherproof your home before you skip town. Make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also very important that you shut off the main water supply and drain the system by opening all the faucets and flushing all the toilets.
Preparing Your Home for the Winter
Making sure your pipes are in working order and protected for the winter is essential when you’re living in a cold-climate area like Minnesota. Water damage can be extensive and expensive, and we hope these tips gave you some insight on how to prevent that in your home.