Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Cozy Home

The season is changing and winter is on its way. And that means it’s time to think about protecting your home from the incoming elements, including freeze-proofing your water pipes.

When pipes freeze, pressure builds and could result in them bursting at their weakest point, potentially causing water damage to your cozy home. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are particularly vulnerable, especially when they're subjected to extra cold air coming through utility line holes.

Many states will experience these types of temps at least once or twice each winter. Even in warm states, winter weather can freeze water pipes. It doesn’t have to be bitter cold. Temperatures only need to drop to about 20ºF for a few hours to put an exposed pipe at risk.

So What Can You Do?

The best way to prevent your home’s pipes from freezing is to keep them from being exposed to the cold. Here’s how:

  • Cover exposed pipes in crawl spaces or attics with insulation sleeves.
  • Re-route pipes to an inside wall.
  • Use caulking to seal cracks in the foundation or walls that let cold air in.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and turn off the water supply to spigots.
  • Keep cabinet doors open below your sinks to allow warm air in.

Here Comes the Cold!

If a cold snap is fast on the way and you don't have time to take all the recommended steps, you can still help prevent frozen pipes with a simple turn of the faucet handle. Open your faucets just slightly to allow a small flow of water. Moving water is less likely to freeze, and it relieves excess pressure that builds if freezing does occur.

Winterize Your Vacation Home

Do you own a vacation home? Take time to winterize before you leave for the season. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your home while you’re gone:

  • Drain all pipes and water heater.
  • Insulate pipes in crawl spaces and other uninsulated areas.
  • Pour non-toxic antifreeze in toilet tanks. (Only use antifreeze rated for plumbing systems.)
  • Locate and seal air leaks around windows, electrical outlets, doors and foundation.
  • Install storm windows or insulator kits for an extra layer of protection on your windows.
  • Cover outside faucets with an insulated cup or install "freeze-proof" faucets.
  • Increase the amount of insulation in your walls, attic and crawl spaces.

No matter where you live or how cold it gets — or doesn’t get — a little proactive protection can help keep your home safe and cozy. Happy winter!



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