How to Mitigate Frozen Pipes

As the holidays approach and the mercury drops, it’s a good time to keep an eye on your plumbing. The cold of winter can wreak havoc on your system, and a burst pipe can quickly flood your basement or your home and cause untold damage in no time at all.

You need to have the tools to step in and ensure that this never occurs. Knowing how to prevent frozen pipes is a critical skill that all homeowners should have, so read on for some more insight on being proactive about your house’s plumbing systems:

  • Insulate your pipes: Pipe insulation is an inexpensive solution that can make for a relatively quick and cheap DIY project. It’s usually a simple length of foam with a slit that just slides right on—an easy frozen pipe solution.
  • Check the outside plumbing: Your exterior connections can be a real target for freezing cold weather. Prevent burst pipes by disconnecting hoses as winter approaches. Better yet: You should turn off any indoor valves and make sure that any pipes leading to these exterior faucets are drained of water. This should help minimize the chances of water freezing in this short stretch of plumbing that can be particularly vulnerable.
  • Let water drip overnight: If it looks like a really cold night is coming, then a simple frozen pipe solution is to let a small drip of warm water come out of your faucets all night. This will prevent standing water from accumulating in your plumbing, which is much more likely to freeze.
  • Seal leaks: A seemingly obvious but often overlooked way to prevent frozen pipes is to make sure that the cold can’t get into your home in the first place. Air leaks can be particularly prevalent in your basement, so check near openings like dryer vents, electrical wearing or pipes for the telltale daylight that signifies a leak. Grab some caulk or a can of expanding foam, and seal those right up.
  • Try heat tape/cables: Another way to protect your pipes beyond foam insulation is to invest in heating solutions. Heat tape can be a great way to warm up the pipes, especially in colder weather. For safety’s sake, make sure that you use only products approved by an organization like UL, LLC.
  • Open cabinet doors before bed: If a particularly cold snap is in the overnight forecast, make sure that you open your cabinets before hitting the hay—especially the cabinets under sinks. Those pipes can be particularly susceptible to freezing, so letting the warm air from your home flow into the cabinets can help keep them from cooling down too much.

Keeping your pipes thawed and flowing throughout the winter is usually just a matter of being proactive. Make sure that you’re taking advantage of your home’s heating system while also utilizing simple tools that can help keep the cold at bay.

If you find that you still experience a mishap and need frozen pipe solutions, make sure that you call our team at Big City Plumbing, LLC immediately to take advantage of our emergency plumbing services team.

Read More