The coldest season of the year is here, putting homeowners at risk for frozen pipes. With the potential to cause upwards of $10,000 worth of damage in a home, frozen pipes are one of the most frustrating home disasters.
Here are a few tips to prevent frozen pipes:
- Insulate pipes – Try to keep water pipes only in heated spaces. If that's not possible or if pipes are close to exterior walls or windows, use insulation sleeves or wrapping. A space heater can also be used to blow heat over pipes in areas with limited or no heat.
- Let it drip – When it's 20 degrees or lower outside, let cold water drip from faucets to help prevent pipes from bursting. This provides relief from the excessive pressure between the faucet and ice blockage when freezing occurs.
- Heat when away – The temperature inside can be lowered if no one is home, but be careful not to lower the heat too much. Do not lower the temperature past 55 degrees Fahrenheit if leaving for an extended period of time.
- Drain the system – Another option for homeowners leaving for an extended period of time is to drain the water system. Do so by turning off the main valve and opening the water fixtures until water stops running. Knowing where the main water valve is located is critical if pipes freeze.
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