Brrrrrr, it’s cold out there! With temperatures hitting record lows at the start of 2018, we wanted to ensure that every homeowner is armed with the knowledge needed to avoid a potentially disastrous situation. Whether you are selling a house, moving into your new home or have lived there for 30+ years, take precautions now before the temperature drops any lower.
What causes freezing pipes and why is it a problem?
Science – when water freezes it expands and it’s this expansion that puts pressure on the pipes. When you leave a water bottle in your car overnight in the winter you run the risk of the water bottle bursting. Pipes work the same way. When they freeze, there is the potential for them to burst, thus causing possible flooding in your home, which could create thousands of dollars in water damage, repairs, etc. We have researched 4 ways to help prevent your pipes from freezing in this cold weather:
Tip #1 – Keep the interior doors in your house open
According to TheBalance.com, it is all about air circulation and flow. Pipes are usually located in cabinets and closets so leaving the doors slightly open will allow the heat from the rest of the house to keep the pipes warm.
Tip #2 – Keep your heat on
During the winter, many people leave their homes for the holidays or long periods of time to escape the cold weather. According to The Red Cross, when you are leaving for extended periods of time, do not turn your heat off. The heat does not have to be set to your normally preferred temperature, but keeping it set to 50-55 degrees is highly recommended as a preventative measure to keep the pipes warm and keep any water inside of them from freezing.
Tips #3 – Add more insulation
This tip may take a little more time and preparation but can be very beneficial in the long run. Pipes that are located in basements, attics and even outside may not be properly insulated for the cold. HouseLogic.com gives some background on this topic, sharing that there are a few different ways to insulate pipes but one of the easier but effective options would be to use a foam rubber or fiberglass sleeve around the pipes to help keep them from freezing. Adding additional insulation will not only keep the pipes warm but keep your home warmer and could potentially lower your heating bill.
Tip #4 – Let the water run
You do not need to leave your water running full force but if you keep the water moving it will not freeze. Again, science. WaterOne mentions in an article on preventing frozen pipes, allowing the water to drip slightly will relieve pressure from the pipes, reducing the risk of a burst.
At the Sue Adler Team we work with all different housing situations – from renters to buyers to sellers – and this is a topic everyone should be aware of and know the steps to take to avoid it from happening – no one wants to come home to a flood in their house due to a frozen pipe that has burst. For more information about protecting your home from frozen pipes, or if you already have a frozen pipe, call us at 973.936.9129, we’d would be happy to recommend a few stellar plumbers.