Prevent Frozen Pipes with these Tips and Chilling Facts
It’s winter! We all know what that means, right?
Hot chocolate. The occasional “snow day”. Cozy nights at home with the family.
And frozen water pipes.
Wait – that’s not what winter is about! However, if your home isn’t protected or prepared for the unpredictable winter blasts in Maryland and Virginia, then frozen pipes could bring a chill to your home and your budget!
Before your teeth start chattering, here are some important facts about your water pipes, the weather, and the potential for frozen pipes.
- Regardless of the pipe structure in your home or business (copper, PVC, ABS, and galvanized steel), they are all at risk of freezing.
- Older homes and structures without insulation or outdated insulation run a higher risk of frozen pipes.
- Pipes exposed to, or close to, cold basement walls, basements, or crawl spaces lean toward a higher risk of freezing. Remember; most of these spaces have little to no heating source.
- Pipes within exterior walls and cabinets can freeze.
- The greater the distance from the water heater to the water source, the greater the opportunity for your pipes to freeze.
- The outside temperature most detrimental to freezing pipes is 20 degrees. Even in temperate regions, consistent cold weather and wind chill can cause issues, especially in the unheated areas of your home or business.
- Another word on wind chill: Air leaks can sneak into any area of the house and when a pipe is in the vicinity, the Arctic blast may accelerate freezing. Common utilities entering the home (telephone, internet, television) can open these pathways for cold air. To reduce this freeze potential, consider spray foam insulation with its top-rated air-sealing qualities.
If your home isn’t properly winterized, here are some tactics to adopt right now to protect your water pipes:
- Set your thermostat at a consistent temperature, 24/7. Many households like to conserve heat overnight, yet the interior temperature drop could contribute to the chilling effects in the colder areas of your house.
- Keep garage doors closed. Even if there are no exposed pipes in this space, there are likely vulnerable pipes located within connecting walls.
- Allow warm air to circulate bathroom and kitchen cabinets by keeping their doors open.
- Make sure heating vents are not blocked and interior doors are open to maintain indoor air circulation.
- Remove outdoor hoses from faucets. Hoses are likely to freeze first, but the connections between the hose and the household faucet are highly susceptible.
Most importantly: insulate your home. For the highest R-value and reduction in air leaks, spray foam insulation is a sure thing. Whether new construction, an older home, or outdated insulation, there are many short-term DIY options available. However, to ensure the best and safest options for your home, long-term winterization, and peace of mind, contact our office to learn more or to schedule your free estimate. We have the answers and solutions to offer many years of cozy winter nights!