Most people become concerned with keeping themselves warm during the winter season. That’s a perfectly valid thing to worry about, but you should also be careful to keep your pipes warm as the temperature starts to drop. If the vulnerable pipes in your home are not properly protected, they might freeze if the weather gets too cold. That can cause all kinds of issues for you as the winter wears on. So, have a look at some of the ways that you can stop your pipes from freezing this winter.
Why It’s Important to Prevent Frozen Pipes
When we talk about frozen pipes, we are actually referring to the water inside them. As the water inside a pipe freezes and expands, it puts an increasing amount of pressure on the pipe walls. This can cause cracks, or full-on pipe ruptures over time. Aside from being damaging to the pipe, this can obviously cause quite a bit of water damage to the surrounding area as well. This is why it’s important to prevent pipes from freezing as much as possible.
Drain the Pipes
The first thing you should do to prepare your pipes for winter is to drain all the ones you don’t plan on using for the next few months. This includes any outdoor faucets like sprinkler systems and such. Turn the water off to these areas, then open the faucets to let any water already in the pipe drain out of it. If there’s no water in the pipes, they won’t be in danger of freezing. Leave the faucets open, just to make sure.
Insulate Vulnerable Pipes You Need
As much as we wish it were as easy as draining every pipe for the winter, there are going to be some vulnerable pipes that you will need to use at some point. Most pipes in the home are insulated, and never reach temperatures low enough to be in danger of freezing. This is not the case with all of them, though. Pipes under the sink and in the basement, for example, are often not insulated well enough to be completely protected from freezing. In cases like those, you’re going to need to insulate the pipes yourself if you want to make sure that they’re properly protected.
There are a number of ways that you can insulate the pipes yourself. You can actually buy pipe insulating sleeves at most hardware stores, if you’re not averse to spending a bit of money for the most effective solution. If that is not an option for you, though, don’t worry. There is still a fairly effective, low-cost way that you can ensure that your pipes are insulated.
Wrap some old towels around the pipes that you’re worried about, and then tie them in-place with plastic ties. This may not be the prettiest solution, but it should be sufficient to keep the pipes from freezing over during the winter.
Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing provides comprehensive plumbing services in Gaithersburg, MD. If you need plumbing services of any kind, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers.