Protect the Outside
Garden hoses present the first potential danger to your home’s pipes. If hoses are left attached to the spigot during the winter, they can freeze, expand, and cause pressure to build up and burst an interior pipe. To prevent garden hoses from bursting interior pipes, homeowners should remove all outside hoses from their spigots. As good practice, hoses should be drained and stored to prevent them from damaging during the winter months.
Protect the Inside
Inside the home, some pipes are typically left exposed, and if they are in an unheated part of the house they are at higher risk for freezing. New homeowners often overlook pipes in unheated areas like the garage, attic, and crawl space. Luckily exposed pipes in unheated areas can be protected easily with some simple foam insulation that can be picked up at your local hardware store. A very simple preventative measure that can be taken inside the house is to keep the thermostat above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and try to keep it as constant as possible.
Protect the Area In Between
Unfortunately, the most costly and time consuming preventative measure can also be the most important. Where pipes run through exterior walls, insulation can be too weak or improperly installed. To prevent pipes from freezing and causing damage, the pipes and insulation should be replaced if there are ever signs of leaking. Water damage and mold are clear indications that pipes in the wall have leaked. If pipes have leaked, then that part of the wall will have to be removed, the pipe replaced, and better insulation installed. In the event that re-insulation does fix the problem, the pipe in the exterior wall might have to be re-routed somewhere warmer.
There is an old adage that goes, “it is easier to keep up than it is to catch up,” and in the case of frozen pipe prevention it couldn’t be truer. The simple fact of the matter is that taking steps to prevent frozen pipes this winter is much less hassle than dealing with the results of a broken pipe. After all, this winter season shouldn’t be spent fixing water damage, but with family and friends. Prepare yourself right with Central Heat & Air.