The cold Colorado weather is here, but you’re ready. You’ve pulled out all the winter clothes, you’re ski passes and gear are all ready to go, warm blankets cover your bed, and you found the best soup recipes. You’ve most likely already prepared your pipes for the freezing weather, but there’s no such thing as being too prepared. You may think you’re ready, but there are still more important things that needs to be considered when preparing your pipes for the winter. Burst pipes can be a costly and expensive repair, but prevention is simple. Make sure you keep your pipes from freezing, eliminating the chance of them bursting this winter using these 8 more tips.
1) Insulation and Foam Board
If you’ve got time, then run to your local hardware store and pick up fiberglass insulation and Foam Board. While you’re there, pick up protective gear like coveralls, mask, gloves, and a utility knife. Cover the exposed pipes or under protected pipes. It doesn’t matter that it looks like a kindergartener’s collage project, it just matters that the pipes are covered. For larger areas, use the Foam Board to create a barrier.
2) Disconnect hoses
Don’t forget your outside hoses and water lines. Remove any hoses and make sure they are free of any leftover water. If you still need to water plants or animals, use a bucket or watering can instead.
3) Keep it warm
Winter is not the time to be stingy on your thermostat, for your pipes sakes. A little more on the electric bill will save you the big cost of a burst pipe. Keeping your home nice and toasty will keep your pipes toasty too and toasty pipes don’t freeze.
4) Let it drip
Turning on your faucets will keep the water flowing, moving water isn’t frozen. You don’t need to turn them on full blast, but just few drops a minute will do the trick. Again, a little cost now on the water bill will save you a much larger expense later.
5) Wrap up
In the wintertime there’s nothing better than snuggling up in a nice warm blanket. Your pipes feel the same way. Grab some rags and wrap those pipes like a pig in a blanket. If your pipes are starting to freeze, you can use hot rags. You can also pour boiling water down the pipes to help thaw the pipes. If you’ve poured boiling water before rapping, then use gloves to wrap the pipes so you don’t injure your hands.
6) Open doors
Before the temperatures drop, open up your cabinet doors. Exposing the pipes under the sink to the warmer air of the room can reduce the chances of frozen pipes. This won’t help with the pipes in the walls, but something is better than nothing.
7) Heat it up
Grab that space heater or blow dryer. If you this has been a problem in the past, a space heater can keep the problem areas warmer. If it’s already starting to freeze, use a blow dryer to target key areas and thaw them out.
8) Turn it off
Turn the water off. Before bed or before you leave, turn the water off. The residual water may still freeze, but it won’t be an explosion of water everywhere and the damage will be much less and hopefully a less expensive fix.
If your pipes have burst:
Turn the water off immediately!
Use caution when assessing the damage (be aware of any other risks in the area). Call Mr. Green Plumbing right away! Our expert plumbers can help remedy the situation and help you get back to your normal pipe use. Burst pipes are unpleasant but we can help you get through it.