The snowy winter weather offers a fun day sledding down a nearby hill or snowball fights in the neighbor's yard. That being said, winter weather can be tough on your home. Severely cold conditions can encourage the water lines in your plumbing to freeze and burst, which may result in serious water damage and enduring negative effects.

Once your pipes are covered in ice, you may want to hire a plumber in Mount Hope to resolve the issue. However, there’s several tasks you can do to keep this from happening – and even minor prevention can go a long way.

What Pipes Are at a Higher Chance of Freezing

The pipes at the greatest risk of freezing are uncovered water lines. Frequent locations for exposed pipes are within attic crawlspaces, near exterior walls, in the basement or even running under a modular home. Water lines that are not properly insulated are at the biggest risk.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing in Your Home

Sufficiently insulating uncovered water lines is a good first step to keeping your pipes safe. You’ll often have access to many of these materials from the local plumbing company, and could also already have some someplace in your home.

Be careful not to cover other flammable insulation materials where they may catch fire. If you don’t feel safe insulating the pipes on your own, call your local plumbing services professional in Mount Hope to get the job done right.

If you do prefer to insulate the pipes by yourself, common insulation materials for pipes are:

  • Wraps or roll insulation: Multiple plumbers, hardware stores and national retailers sell insulation – usually fiberglass, foam wraps or pipe sleeves – that you can wrap or fit around your pipes. They are offered in differing lengths and sizes to fit the needs of your home.
  • Newspaper: To some degree, newspaper can be used as an insulator. If the weather is getting colder and you aren’t able to add insulation soon enough, wrap uninsulated pipes in this.
  • Towels or rags: If you miss the opportunity to add insulation and don’t have any newspaper close by, wrapping particularly vulnerable pipes with towels or clean rags as a final effort could be just enough to keep the cold air away from the pipes.

One other preventative step you can try to stop pipes from freezing in your home is to seal any cracks that could let cold air in your home. Keep an eye on the window frames, which can allow in surprisingly powerful drafts. This not only will help to prevent your pipes from freezing, but it will have the added benefit of making your home more energy efficient.

Five More Ways to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing:

  • Open the cabinet doors. Opening the cabinet doors underneath the sinks and other areas of your home that have pipes will enable more warm air from the rest of the room to get to the pipes.
  • Letting water drip. Letting water flow by letting your faucets move even just a little can help thwart frozen pipes.
  • Open interior doors. By opening doors between rooms or hallways, your home can be heated more equally. This is especially important if you struggle with a room that is frequently colder or hotter than other rooms.
  • Close the garage door. The exception to the open doors tip is the garage door, which you should keep closed – namely if your water lines can be found near or under the garage.
  • Keep the heat flowing. Experts suggest setting the thermostat at a persistent temperature and leaving it alone, rather than letting it get colder at night. Set it no colder than 55 degrees.

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing in an Unused Home

When you’re in your own home, it’s not difficult to know when something goes wrong. But what added steps can you attempt to keep pipes from freezing in a vacant home or vacation home when the consequences from a frozen pipe may not be discovered for a while?

As with the main residence, adding insulation to any exposed water lines, opening interior doors throughout the home and winterizing the vacant home are the best steps to take.

Extra Steps to Keep Pipes from Freezing in an Empty Home:

  1. Leave the heat on. Even though you won't always be home, it’s best to keep the heat on – even if you turn the thermostat down lower than you would if you were there. As with a primary house, experts recommend keeping the temperature at no colder than 55 degrees.
  2. Shut water off and drain the lines. If you’re going to be out of the house for a long time or are winterizing a rustic cabin or cottage, turning the water off to the house and draining the water out of the water lines is one way to keep pipes from freezing and bursting open. Don’t forget to clear the water out of all appliances, like the hot water heater, or the toilets. See to it that you clear out all the water from the pipes. If you are not sure of how to clear out the water from the pipes, or don’t feel comfortable doing it without any help, a plumber in Mount Hope will be delighted to offer support.