Water can damage your home even in winter and you need to know how to keep pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes that are ignored and thaws out can be a disaster. Uninsulated water pipes can freeze and burst, and ice dams can form on your roof. Thawed snow can also enter your basement, causing flood and water damage. Below we have provided a few tips on what can be done to prevent water damage in your home. Frozen pipe prevention isn’t very difficult.
How to find frozen pipes
First you must inspect and identify any pipes that are vulnerable to freezing. Any uninsulated pipes that run outside are at risk of freezing. Water supply lines that run through the garage, crawl spaces or attics are also vulnerable. Pipes under cabinets or pipes that run along exterior walls are also at risk. Sometimes a cold spell in warm climates puts many homes at risk. The heat must be kept on in your home in order to prevent pipes from freezing. Even if the frozen pipes thaw on their own, they can still cause a disaster. After it thaws out, the water flows and will continue flowing until the source of the water supply gets shut off. Many people shut off the main water supply when they leave town for vacation in order to prevent such a disaster from happening.
How to keep pipes from freezing
- Insulate all water pipes in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces, basements, garages, attics, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Allow access for warm air to circulate around any plumbing by opening cabinet doors.
- Let cold water drip from the faucets. Lightly running water through pipes helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Set the thermostat to the same temperature during the day and at night. Your heating costs may rise, but you’ll prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
- If you’re leaving home for a day or more, set the thermostat to at least 55° F. Shut off the water supply and drain pipes and appliances that use water. It can also help to have a relative or someone that you trust check up on your home while you are away. It is not true that frozen pipes always burst, but it to be prepared.
Preventing Ice Dams
- Remove any large amounts of snow sitting on the roof of your home.
- Make sure that downspouts are clear so that melted water can drain properly.
- Long-term solutions to prevent ice dams:
- Insulate the attic to prevent warm air from entering. Warm air can melt the snow on the roof, which refreezes, forming ice dams.
- Ensure your attic is properly ventilated. Warm air should escape through vents near the top of the attic. Cold air should flow in through vents near the eaves.
- Install a water membrane underneath the roof shingles. It helps prevent water from seeping in.
- Install a snow shield to prevent leaks. The shield goes under the shingles starting from the low edge of the roof and extending up at least three feet inside the exterior wall of the house.
- Install gutter screens to help keep out the debris that causes build-up and damage.
Water has a way of sneaking up when you least expect it, destroying everything in its path, and completely taking over parts of your home. In some cases, insurance companies would not even cover the damage. Traveling through all cracks and creases. This can cause an immense amount of stress and may take a lot of work to bring your home back to its normal state. Taking the right precautions and reading tips on how to keep pipes from freezing will keep your home at very low risk of experiencing water damage from frozen pipes.