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6 ways to keep your pipes from freezing during winter

VA Loan Texas
February 01 2022 | By Elevation Construction
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What pipes are most vulnerable to freezing?

  • Exterior pipes that are exposed directly to colder temperatures
  • Pipes in an exterior wall of the home
  • Pipes in a crawl space, garage, or attic

 
 

6 ways to keep your pipes from freezing

Tip 1 Keep the heat on

If you have a situation where you aren't using part of your home often and have it closed off to save money, make sure those rooms are being heated during extreme cold temperatures. We had a situation where a couple had separate heating systems for parts of their home. They had turned off the area they didn't use, and a pipe burst.

Tip 2

Keep cabinet doors open

In kitchens and bathrooms, keep the cabinet doors open. This allows the warm air in the room to come into the cabinet and help keep the pipes warm.

Tip 3

Allow the faucet to drip

A constant flow of water through the pipes is less likely to freeze. Leave the faucets slightly dripping.

Tip 4

Seal up cracks and holes

Before winter, check for any cracks and holes in your home and seal them up. You want to stop any cold air from coming in.

Tip 5

Add extra insulation

Pipe insulation is very easy to install. Simply cut it to fit the length of the pipe. Open it up and fit it around your pipe. This is great for use on pipes in crawl spaces that are very vulnerable to freezing conditions.

 

pipe insulation is easy to install to help prevent pipes from freezing
These inexpensive plastic covers go over your outdoor spigots and give you another layer of protection for your pipes. These keep cold air from accessing the spigot opening.

outdoor spigot cover

Tip 6

Apply heating tape

If you have a pipe you are really concerned about or if you have a frozen pipe,

 you will want to

 have some heat tape (Electric Water Pipe Heat Cable) handy. Heat tape is easy to install. You can put it on the pipe like you see in the picture. You can tape it or zip tie it onto the pipe. If it is a bigger pipe, you will want to wrap it around.

Heat tape can help prevent or warm up frozen pipes

In a weather situation where a lot of people are going to have frozen pipes, heat tape will go fast in stores. You don't want to be in a situation where you need it, and they are out of stock locally. If you anticipate that you may have an issue, buy it and have it on hand early. Even if you end up not needing to use it, you might be able to help a friend in need.

In the video, Chris discusses a property in Massachusetts that had pipes freeze during temperatures of -20 degrees. Heat tape and heaters in the area helped get the situation under control, and they insulated the pipes to prevent future issues.

Prevention is key. If you think you are going to have an issue, follow all the prevention steps to reduce the chance of having frozen pipes in your property.  

Water shutoff valve

water shutoff valve is great to have in case of pipes freezing

You want to be able to shut off any water source or pipe that is going out to the exterior spigots. If you don't have a water shutoff valve, you might consider having one installed. After you shut off the water going to the exterior spigots, make sure it is empty. Turn on the spigots and run out any water in the pipe.

Don't forget to insulate the main shut-off valve pipe as well.

When should I shut off the exterior water?

The best time to shut off the exterior water source is just prior to winter when you are done watering lawns, washing cars, or using your outdoor water sources.

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