January is upon us, but the worst of winter is yet to come. As you prepare to winterize your lifestyle by doing things like wearing sweaters and starting your car a few minutes early, don’t forget to winterize your home as well. This could mean sealing your windows and insulating your doors. But you don’t want to forget to winterize one important thing—your pipes. A burst pipe is an expensive thing to fix.
Freezing and bursting pipes are a hazard for homes that experience cold weather. The science behind it makes sense. Water expands when it freezes, and it freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water in pipes freezes, it expands and causes cracks, leaks, and could make the pipes burst. Even homes in warmer climates can get an unexpected cold front. Here is how to prevent your pipes from bursting in the winter.
Drain Your Sprinkler System
It’s winter, so you won’t need your sprinkler system until the spring. Removing the water from those pipes will lessen the risk of them bursting underneath the frozen ground. Talk with your lawn care specialists about draining your sprinkler water pipes.
It is important to insulate your home. You can even insulate your water pipes. Keep cold air out as much as possible. Seal up your windows, insulate your doors, and patch up any cracks that allow cold air in. Keep all windows and doors to the outside closed—including your garage door—to ensure that the heat stays in your house.
Steady Flow of Heat
While your windows and doors that lead to the outdoors are closed, you want to leave the doors to rooms inside of your home open. This will allow the heat in your home to flow throughout the house. Pipes are located all around your home, and allowing the heat to flow will help keep your pipes from bursting.
Keep the Heat On
You do not want to turn off the heat as this will make your house too cold, causing the water to freeze in the pipes. If you are hot or going to be away on vacation, keep your heat at a slightly lower temperature. Avoid turning it below 55 degrees.
Let Your Faucets Drip
Pressure builds up in pipes when water freezes due to expansion. If you let your faucets drip a little, this relieves some of the pressure. I know you are probably thinking about your water bill right now. Don’t worry—a higher water bill for a few months is cheaper than the cost to fix a burst pipe.
According to disastersafety.org, “frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage when the temperature drops.” The cost to fix a burst pipe can top $5,000. It is a lot cheaper to insulate your pipes, keep your heat on, and leave your faucet dripping just a little bit. Hopefully these tips will help keep your pipes from bursting this winter season.