Frozen pipes are a real worry during the coldest days of winter in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. At about 20 degrees or below, pipes are at risk of freezing — and if they freeze, they might also burst. A water pipe with a crack as small at one-eighth of an inch could send more than 250 gallons of water into your home in one day.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce the possibility of frozen pipes — and the chance of a midwinter home disaster:
- Insulate. Insulate your water pipes with premade insulation designed to wrap snugly around pipes and protect them from the cold. Ask your HVAC contractor where to find this material. If you can’t find specialty pipe insulation, you can wrap your pipes with standard fiberglass roll insulation.
- Seal. Inspect your house’s foundation and outside walls, looking for cracks, gaps and holes through which cold air can get into your house and reduce temperatures near your water pipes. Pipes in unconditioned or uninsulated areas of your home, such as crawl spaces, unfinished attics or basements, outer walls or foundations, are more likely to be affected by cold air. Repair cracks with weather stripping, caulk or other sealants.
- Heat. Open cabinet doors under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to let more warm get near the pipes.
Keep your home’s thermostat set at a constant warm temperature. Reducing indoor temperatures at night or while you are away during the day increases the chance of pipes freezing.
You can also wrap your pipes with heat tape or cable. These contain heating elements that will provide additional protection against freezing. They must be plugged into a standard electrical socket, so keep access in mind and buy the correct length of tape.
Contact Home Comfort Experts today for more information on preventing frozen pipes and for the insulation, heat tapes and other supplies you need to protect your home.