Frozen pipes can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Even in an area like ours, where we’re used to low temperatures in winter, unpleasant surprises can occur when the temperature falls below zero, or the heating fails. A frozen pipe can result in flooding when the temperature warms, so you need to take precautions to ensure your pipes make it through an emergency.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes happen when water inside the pipes freezes. When the ice expands, it can result in a break in the pipe that allows the water to flood walls, the basement, the attic, floors or anywhere pipes are located. Quite often, homeowners vacationing in the winter have an unpleasant surprise when they return home and discover the heating has failed, the pipes have frozen and the home has flooded.
Following are some tips on how to prevent frozen pipes.
- Insulate pipes in vulnerable areas, such as a basement, crawl space, or attic, or pipes in a cabinet located against an exterior wall. Also caulk or insulate holes where pipes come through an exterior wall.
- If you expect unusually frigid temperatures overnight, open the doors of cabinets that contain pipes.
- Insulate basement or crawl space walls with fiberglass batts to take the chill out of these unheated spaces.
- Caulk and install weatherstripping around windows and doors to improve your home’s heating efficiency.
- When vacationing during the winter, never turn the thermostat lower than 55 degrees.
- Unhook hoses from exterior faucets, and wrap the faucets. Be sure they are drained.
- If you travel in the winter, have someone check your home periodically to ensure the heat is working, and that there are no apparent leaks from pipes.
- During extremely cold weather, turn on a small stream of water from a faucet to prevent freezing.
- If you rely on electricity for heating, look into an alternative form of heating such as a wood stove. You never know when the power is going to go off.
For more on preventing frozen pipes, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We serve Monmouth County and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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