Installing pipe insulation is one of the cheapest home improvement projects you can take on. It is also one of the most overlooked projects for many homeowners. Frozen or burst pipes due to extreme temperature drop can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Taking steps now before the cold sets in will save you the heart ache and money this winter.
For less than half a dollar per linear foot, you can purchase quality pipe insulation that will protect your homes piping from freezing or bursting this winter. By adding insulation to exposed pipes in your garage, you will save yourself the expense and hassle of dealing with burst pipes this winter.
Not sure how to install pipe insulation? Lucky for you it is extremely easy and there are thousands of videos online to point you in the right direction. The first step is to identify exposed pipes. Start in the garage and look around for any pipes. Installing insulation over these pipes is a great first step in the right direction!
Tips For Avoiding Frozen Pipes
When the weather forecaster comes on the news and warns of a cold spell coming in, take action sooner than later. It may be too late to install insulation throughout your entire home but you can still cover exposed areas that are easy to see and access.
As the temperature drops, keep your heater set at a consistent temperature. Even if you are planning to leave your home, it is recommended to keep your thermostat set at a minimum of 55 degrees. Having this consistent temperature will help prevent pipes from freezing up. Or worst yet, bursting and causing you to come home to a big mess!
When you are home, you may want to leave faucets on with a small trickle of cold water coming out. This simple trick of keeping water flowing through the pipes can help prevent them from freezing.
If your pipes under the sink are not insulated, opening the cabinet doors will allow some of the warmer air in the home to circulate around them and keep them from freezing as well. Just make sure the toxic cleaners and chemicals are removed if you have small children and pets.
What To Do If Your Pipes Freeze
Be careful when searching out and fixing frozen pipes. There is a chance that if they are frozen that another section might have already burst. It is a good idea to shut your water off at the main valve before getting started.
If you turn on a faucet and only have a small trickle of water there is a good chance your pipes are frozen. So long as there is not a burst in the pipes, leave the faucet on to keep water circulating through the pipes.
Some ways to thaw frozen pipes include applying heat pads or using a space heater to heat up the area around the pipes. As you do this the water pressure should steadily start to increase.
If you have had one pipe freeze, chances are there are others in your home that are also frozen. Go through room by room checking each faucet to ensure water is flowing normally.
What If A Pipe Bursts Or Pressure Doesn’t Return?
If you think a pipe may have burst, shut the water off immediately. The water shut off is usually by the water meter. After you have done this, call a licensed plumber right away.
You can try to search out where the burst happened and do you best to mitigate the water damage and hold back the flow.
The moral of the story is to take action sooner than later to insulate your pipes. It may seem like a difficult task now but I assure you that cleaning up a burst pipe is a much bigger headache!