Preparing your home for winter means you have to pay extra attention to the fixtures and areas of your home that have to do with water, as standing water will expand and freeze with the colder temperatures. One of the most important areas to focus on are your pipes because they can easily freeze and burst due to the cold temperatures, especially during the coldest winter days. With that being said, what is the best way to prevent frozen or bursting pipes?
There are several preventive measures you can take to avoid damage to your pipes and plumbing system. Here are a few tips to help you keep your pipes from freezing and bursting this winter.
1. Keep The Thermostat at 65 degrees
If you plan on leaving for an extended period of time this winter, do not shut off your heating system. Set your thermostat to a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius. This is especially important to remember if you have plumbing in structures on your property that are not attached to your home, like a garage or pool house. While maintaining a warmer temperature when you are not around may increase your energy bill slightly, it will help keep your pipes from freezing during the colder winter. If you don’t plan on using the water in these external buildings at all during the winter season, simply turn off the water supply and drain any remaining water from the pipes.
2. Insulate You Basement
If your basement is unfinished, you should insulate the exterior foundation walls to help regulate the temperature. In most homes, the plumbing runs through the interior walls of the home, but they all run through the basement. If your basement walls are not insulated, the cold can easily penetrate through and dropping your basement temperature below freezing. By ensuring all foundation walls are well insulated, you will help keep your basement and your pipes and drains above freezing temperature which will prevent potentially expensive and unexpected drain repair or plumbing repairs.
3. Install Smart Technology.
There are built-in features with some smart thermostats and sensors that are very helpful during cold temperatures as they send instant alarms to let you know that the temperature is near freezing and you can remotely control the thermostat. You can also invest in leak-detection systems and back-up generators to help you stay aware of leaks and keep your home heated at all times.
4. Insulate Exposed Pipes
If your plumbing passes through unheated areas of your home, like the attic or garage, it is best to wrap these pipes with insulation as part of your winter preparation. The insulation will help you avoid any random cases of your pipes freezing and bursting. Heated plumbing tape and cables can also be a great idea for insulating your pipes since they automatically turn on when the temperature reading gets too low and is close to freezing.
5. Disconnect hoses.
The final tip for preventing your pipes from freezing or bursting is to disconnect any hoses or outside spigots. If these external hoses freeze, water flowing within the house may have increased pressure, and that may result in bursting and potential water damage. You can use faucet insulators to protect your spigots from the cold and remember to detach any hoses.