5 Ways to keep your pipes from freezing
All over the state of Colorado, we have been seeing much cooler temperatures this winter season than in the past.
If you're a new homeowner than winterization is something you've most likely heard of but you are probably unfamiliar with the process since in the past your landlord or apartment maintenance team has taking care of winterization or giving you the advice on your specific rental.
If you now own your home, Congratulations! Homeownership is everyone's dreams and you're wanting to protect it at any cost so we've provided 5 simple steps on preventing water damage from frozen water pipes/lines.
1) Leave faucets dripping
If the temperatures have dropped into a freezing temperature (32? is considered the freezing point) turning on your faucets -- both indoors and out -- this can keep water moving through your systems and slow down the freezing process. There's no need to waste gallons of water aim for about five drips per minute.
2) Open Cabinet Doors
During cold weather, open any cabinet doors covering plumbing in the kitchen, laundry room, & bathrooms where you can visually see the water lines. Also, be sure to check in other typically unheated spaces like an attic, crawl space, and garages. Opening the cabinet doors allows the home's warm air to better circulate, which can help prevent the exposed piping from freezing. While this won't help much with pipes hidden in walls, ceilings, or under the home, it can keep water moving and limit the dangerous effect of freezing weather.
3) Wrap your pipes
If your pipes are already on their way towards freezing or have frozen in the past (tell-tale signs include water damage, mold, and moisture build-up), it's probably because of inadequate or improperly installed insulation. It might well be worth the cost to hire a professional and open up the wall and beef up the insulation. Any exposed pipes in crawl spaces, attics or garages can be covered with an inexpensive foam pipe insulation for moderately cold climates. If you're in a more severe climate, opt for wrapping problem pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape, which will turn on at certain minimum temps.
4) Leave the heat at 65? or higher
If you plan on leaving your house, even for the day while you're at work and are trying to cut down on your utility bill make sure you're setting your thermostat at 65? or higher - if set any lower for extended periods of time it could result in pipes freezing and possibly bursting to leave you with a mess to come home too.
5) Shut off the water if pipes are frozen
Pipes already have frozen? Turn off the water immediately (hopefully, you know where the master shut-off is, but if not, now's the time to find it!)
also, be sure to shut off power to your house, DO NOT go into a room with standing water if your electricity is still turned on.
Make sure to then close off any external water sources, like garden hose hookups. This will prevent more water from filling the system, adding more ice to the pile, and eventually bursting your pipes, which is your worst-case scenario. This also will help when the water thaws, the last thing you want after finally fixing your frozen pipes is for water to flood the system and ultimately your home.
After all these tricks if you still end up with a leak or water in your home at any point, day or night, be sure to call your local SERVPRO (open 24/7/365) to come to start the drying process ASAP - even in colder temperatures mold can grow in as little as a few days, based on the environment it is in. SEVRPRO also works with insurance providers to keep your disaster under control and help get your home back on track.