Preparation is Key
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. Such expansion can put tremendous pressure on pipes – whether metal or plastic. Pipes most susceptible to freezing are those exposed to severe cold with little or no insulation.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls
- Unheated interior areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and garages
- Swimming pool supply lines
- Water sprinkler lines
- Water supply pipes
- Outdoor faucets
Some Simple Steps to Prevent Frozen Pipes:
- Drain and disconnect any garden hoses – A frozen garden hose can actually burst an interior pipe.
- Exterior faucets – close the interior shut-off valve leading to each faucet. Open and drain the spigot, install a faucet insulator.
- Seal air leaks around incoming electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
- Turn up the thermostat – especially in old homes built over an uninsulated crawl space. The extra expense on heating is less than repairing extensive damage from frozen pipes.
- Install fiberglass insulation – Assess and install insulation in attics, crawl spaces, over and around poorly protected pipes.
- Install heating cable – on or around vulnerable pipes.
- Open cabinet doors – Open cabinet doors under sinks along an exterior wall.