Tips to Protect Your Pipes From Freezing

Cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze. There are, however, steps you can take to prevent this problem.

Tip #1: Keep the Heat On
Make sure that the heat is kept on your property even when sleeping or on an outing.  The heat does not have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were actually home, but settings of 55 degrees Fahrenheit or above s a good idea. This should provide enough heat to prevent any water inside from freezing.

Tip #2: Allow Faucet to Drip
Allow the faucet to drip slightly. This relieves pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.

Tip #3: Keep Interior Doors Open
When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.

Tip #4: Seal Up Cracks and Holes
You should caulk any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Tip #5: Apply Heating Tape
For pipes that are easily accessible, the electrical heating tape may be an option to keep them from freezing. This tape can be applied directly to the pipe. One type of heating tape turns on and off by itself when it senses heat is needed. The other type of heating tape needs to be plugged in when heat is needed and unplugged when not in use.
***Much like a space heater, these products can be dangerous, so you must follow the product’s direction and safety procedures exactly.

Tip #6: Add Extra Insulation
Pipes in basements or attics are not the only ones that may not be properly insulated from the cold. If you have had a problem with pipes freezing anywhere in your home, extra insulation could be the cure.Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing.