How to Keep Pipes From Freezing in Winter
Whether you love winter or wish it would be over already, you can’t deny that the cold season comes with some extra chores. We have to shovel snow, add salt or sand to our walkways to prevent them from getting slippery, and spend some time removing snow build-ups from our cars unless we are lucky enough to have a garage.
If the temperature drops so low that your plumbing pipes freeze despite your efforts, you need to act quickly. When the frozen pipes are exposed, you could try to thaw them by wrapping them in hot towels or using a hairdryer. If the frozen pipes are not exposed, it’s best to call a plumber to the rescue. They will solve your problem quickly and could even give you additional plumbing tips to make your life easier this winter.
We all are busy, and we don’t have time to deal with frozen pipes, or even worse, burst pipes. Fortunately, with these seven tips to keep plumbing pipes from freezing, you can have one less thing to worry about.
Here is how to keep pipes from freezing in winter:
Keep your home comfortably warm
Just like you, your plumbing pipes don’t like it when it’s cold. The best way to keep pipes from freezing in winter is to make your home comfortably warm.
However, you should not set your thermostat higher than 20°C, as your pipes could then get too hot, which isn’t better. And if you are going out of town for some time, it’s best to leave the heat on, so you won’t come back home to burst pipes and water damage.
Get a space heater for cold winter days
If some of your exposed pipes tend to freeze very easily, it could be a good idea to get a space heater. Small space heaters are affordable, and buying one to place next to exposed plumbing pipes will be a good investment.
Just keep in mind that you should not leave a space heater unattended for long periods. Keep this solution for winter days where the temperature drops very low to protect sensitive pipes from the cold.
Don’t leave the garage doors open for too long
If you have a garage and exposed plumbing pipes in it, be sure not to leave your garage doors open for too long.
Garages are generally not as well insulated as houses, and they are not heated as much either. Keeping the doors closed will keep the air (as well as the car) inside your garage from becoming too cold, and on top of preventing your pipes from freezing, it will also help make your house warmer.
Leave your cabinet doors open
The doors of your cabinets, on the other hand, should be left open if pipes are running inside them. You don’t have to keep them open all the time, but you should do it on very cold winter days and nights.
When the cabinet doors are open, the airflow inside your home will improve. The warmer air will flow inside the cold cabinets, keeping the pipes warm and functional. To improve the airflow, even more, think about leaving the inside doors of your home open overnight.
Insulate your exposed pipes
There might be exposed pipes running through your home’s cabinets, garage, basement, crawl space, and attic. These pipes are more vulnerable than those hiding inside your walls, so you can help protect them from the cold by insulating them.
Insulation foam sleeves are affordable and easy to install on your own. If you prefer, you can call a plumber and have them insulate your exposed pipes for you. Insulated pipes will help you save money on your water heating bills as a bonus.
Seal cracks in your floor or your walls
Are some of your exposed pipes running through holes in your floor on in your walls? If so, some cold air from the outside might be entering your home if these holes are not insulated properly.
Check if there are any cracks around these pipes, and seal them with caulk or insulating foam.
Let your faucets drip overnight
Finally, if you often have to deal with frozen pipes, you could let your faucets drip overnight or whenever you are away from home for some time.
This will help keep your pipes from freezing, as moving water is less likely to freeze than standing water. And if you don’t want to waste the water that will trickle down your faucet, keep a large bowl in your sink. You can then reuse this water as you like.