So far we have had a mild winter, but generally winter brings with it the
splendor of snow and the hazards of ice, both of which can be exciting
to watch from the comfort of your own cozy home. Sometimes, however, that
ice can get inside and wreak havoc. Cold winter weather can cause your
plumbing pipes to freeze, burst, flood, and produce other severe and costly
water damage. Taking preventive measures before cold weather conditions
arrive helps prevent the physical and financial devastation caused by
When water freezes inside a pipe, it will expand and create an increase
in water pressure, preventing water from flowing freely. The blockage
created by the ice can generate extreme pressure throughout the system,
causing cracks in susceptible places throughout your home. The damage
from burst pipes can be inconvenient and immensely pricey to
Prevention Begins with Preparation
Being prepared is your best defense against winter weather damage. Here
are some tips to prevent frozen pipes from ruining your winter:
Seal air leaks - You can reduce vulnerabilities by catching and repairing leaks ahead of
time. Having a professional plumber inspect your home before cold weather
hits is a great first step to add to your winter prep to-do list.
Insulate all water pipes - Insulation is especially important on pipes located where the chance of
freezing is highest, such as outside walls, attics, and crawl spaces.
This can be a DIY job, or you can hire a professional plumber to make
sure your pipes are properly insulated in all high-risk areas.
Disconnect outdoor hoses - Water inside a hose can freeze and cause the pipes leading into your home
to burst. Removing all hoses and turning off exterior faucets and sprinkler
systems is recommended before the temperature drops below freezing.
Keep the temperature up - Simply keeping your thermostat set to 55 degrees or higher, especially
when out of town, will help prevent those pipes from getting too chilly.
Additionally, leaving kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open will permit
warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
Run the water - A misconception many people have is that turning water off will prevent
pipes from freezing. Unfortunately, there is still water resting in the
pipes, even when the main water source is turned off. This non-flowing
water is the most common cause of frozen plumbing. Allowing hot
and cold water to trickle out during a cold snap, no faster than a slow drip,
can prevent stagnant water from icing over.
Shut it down - It's important to know where your shutoff valves are located, so you
can prevent as much damage as possible if and when you have a pipe burst
from freezing. Once the water is shut off, call your
Taking preventive measures before winter sets in can lessen the possibility
of frozen pipes, but there are times when being prepared just isn't
enough and disaster strikes. If you notice slower water pressure and suspect
contact us at Eco Plumbers immediately. If caught quickly enough, an issue like freezing pipes can
be repaired before they cause damage.