Let’s cut to the chase: having frozen pipes can be a very costly situation. In fact, frozen pipes will burst and cause tremendous damage inside of your home — which is usually irreversible. Indeed, it is always imperative to do what you can to prevent your pipes from freezing, but what does that entail exactly? Here are some ways to take precaution this winter:
Turn Up The Heat
Typically, older homes do not come with an insulated crawl space. Of course, this can lead to your pipes not being warm enough, ultimately causing the dreaded burst. While turning the heat up a notch will slightly increase your utility bill, it is definitely worth the price — especially since it will save your home from significant water damage.
To get the most out of your heater, simply turn up your thermostat a few degrees higher than usual. From there, the air temperature in the crawl space will increase, causing extra heat to radiate off the floor. If you know that your crawl space is not insulated, then it’s important to consider having the area covered as soon as possible. Not only will it help save energy, but it will also help ensure that you won’t have frozen pipes.
Prepare Before Extreme Temperature Drops
As a homeowner, you should be prepared for an emergency frozen pipe situation at all times. You should always know precisely where your emergency water valve shut off is, in addition to having a repair kit with emergency patches.
Additionally, you’ll also want to make sure that you know a local plumber, such as Aqua Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Services Inc., who is ready to repair a frozen pipe immediately, in the event of an emergency. Finally, before the temperatures begin to drop any lower, you’ll also want to do all that you can to ensure that your pipes are well insulated — even if it means placing foam in your crawlspace.
Use a Space Heater
If you have unprotected pipes in an area that you cannot get to, then you might want to consider using a space heater. Of course, you don’t want to make the area exactly warm and comfortable (since that could attract undesired guests).
Your primary goal of using a space heater is to keep the area warm enough to prevent a potential pipe freeze. Just note: remember to be safe when setting up/using a space heater. If you don’t feel confident using one, then it’s best to opt for pipe and crawl space insulation.
Looking to insulate your pipes with ease? Then you might want to consider placing some unfaced fiberglass insulation around them. The task is relatively simple to do — but remember that you should always wear protective gear when tackling this project.
Once you’re donning your protective gear, merely place the insulation in and around your pipes covering every area completely. Don’t worry about the insulation looking neat, since this is a temporary fix and its primary goal is to prevent an initial burst.
Leaving Cabinet Doors Open
One of the easiest ways to make sure your pipes do not freeze is to leave any cabinet door open where plumbing resides. This will allow the heat to get near the pipes, keeping them warm and away from the possibility of freezing.
For an added layer of protection, you can even place a small electric heater in front of your cabinets as well — but always make sure that you do not leave the unit unattended, especially if you have kids or pets in your home.
Turning Off Your Water
If worse comes to worst, and you are still concerned about your water freezing, then it’s best to turn the water off completely. To do this, you’ll want to locate the main water valve and shut off the water supply from there. In fact, you can leave the water off while you sleep — but remember to turn the water back on after the threat of freezing has passed.
Using Foam Board Insulation
If you want to keep the heat in, then it’s best to consider using foam board. Indeed, you can frame this material around your pipes, with ease, just by cutting the foam board to size. From there, you can hold it into place by using wood framing. If you’re not sure what variation of the material to use, then keep in mind that you can use either faced or unfaced foam boarding.
Installation of Heating Cable
Another alternative to keeping your pipes warm is to consider installing heating cable. A heating cable is also known as heat tape, which goes around your pipes and keeps them cozy. Of course, some variations may run along your pipes instead of wrapping around them.
In fact, the “tape” is rather simple to use: plug it in, and it will heat up, causing the pipes to stay warm. If you’re not sure how to properly install this device, then we highly recommend seeking professional assistance.
Have frozen pipes or looking to take precaution? We can help! For nearly three decades, our expert team of HVAC technicians and plumbers in Skokie have provided the highest quality services. Available 24/7 to provide service, you can depend on us to come to your rescue whether you have an emergency or the time comes for a routine maintenance check. Check out our website to request a service.