Avoid Winter Blues
WATER… that amazing property that can be a liquid, solid or a gas. We need water to wash dishes, do laundry, shower, cook… the list could go on and on. But in the winter when temperatures drop, that liquid can quickly turn to solid ice and cause havoc in our plumbing. Outlined below are the 3 main causes of frozen pipes as well as ways to prevent pipes from freezing when the bitter cold strikes.
The 3 main causes of frozen pipes are:
- Quick drops in temperature
- Poor insulation
- Thermostat too low
Quick drops in temperature
We can’t control Jack Frost but we can take actions to prevent pipes from bursting when he puts us under a cold spell. Did you know a frozen garden hose can actually burst an indoor pipe? When the water in the hose freezes, it expands, increasing pressure throughout the whole plumbing system. Garden hoses should be disconnected, drained, and stored before the first freeze.
Close the interior shut-off valve leading to outside faucets, open and drain the spigot, and install a faucet insulator. Don’t forget, outdoor kitchens need winterizing, too, to prevent damage.
Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing so be sure to insulate pipes in your attic or crawl space even if you live where freezing is uncommon. Consider installing products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve," "heat tape," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes.
Thermostat too low
Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By momentarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
If you are planning to head south for the winter, make sure the furnace is set to no lower than 55 degrees. Shut off the main water supply and drain the system by opening all faucets and flushing the toilets. In extreme situations (a vacation home in a bitterly cold climate), you may want to have a plumber come to inspect the system.
If you find yourself in the middle of disaster, our trained, certified professionals are just a phone call away. We are available 24/7/365 and we work with your insurance company to manage the process and paperwork. SERVPRO of Lawrence would love the opportunity to work with you to make it “Like it never even happened.”