Ohio residents can really enjoy our four seasons. Although our summers can get hot and humid and our winters can get very cold, we can certainly enjoy our beautiful spring days and lovely autumn afternoons. However, when our temperatures dip down into the freezing digits of winter, we must be careful to take care of each other, our pets, and our water pipes to avoid water damage in our homes.
Although many homes are well-insulated and have enough heat sources to keep pipes from freezing most days, if our temperatures get to 20° F or colder, our pipes may be at risk of freezing and even bursting. If your pipes do freeze and burst, the water damage cleanup can be a costly mess. The following are helpful tips that our experts at Pine Ridge Restoration have seen as the best way to assist in preventing frozen pipes.
When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing. The water stream should be about the diameter of a pencil lead and can be left running through the cold of the night. Make sure the water drains out of the tub or sink and doesn’t cause a secondary water disaster in your home.
Make sure warm air can circulate throughout your home during cold snaps. Open interior doors to all rooms and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets under the sink to distribute heat around rooms. Move any household chemicals or potentially harmful cleaners out of reach if you have small children or pets at home.
Many hardware stores sell black foam insulation to cover your pipes. Check for the sizes of your pipes, as the insulating tubes come in a variety of sizes. Check the attic, basement, crawl spaces, or garage for exposed pipes. In extreme cold, pipes underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks are also vulnerable to freezing. Apply foam insulation liberally to provide a buffer against frigid temperatures. Wrapping your pipes in heat tape can also help keep them warm enough from freezing.
In the autumn months, before the freezing temperatures arrive, blow out the water from sprinkler systems, and disconnect and drain the garden hoses from exterior spigots. Close any shut-off valves that might supply outdoor hose bibs and open the faucet outside to drain the line. Keep it open throughout the winter to allow space for any water that remains in the pipe to expand.
If your pipes freeze, you’ll need to act fast to mitigate additional damage. Shut off your main water valve as quickly as possible. This will help minimize the amount of water that could have leaked inside your walls. You may also want to shut off power in the affected area of your home. After you’ve taken these precautionary steps, it’s time to call a restoration specialist and start mopping up any mess that’s been caused. Try to remove as much of the water and lingering moisture as you can to avoid mold and mildew buildup.
Leaks, frozen or broken pipes, a sink or toilet overflow, a malfunctioning water heater, dishwasher, or washing machine, or serious flooding can all cause significant damage to your home in a very short timeframe, leaving you confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of who to turn to. Pine Ridge Restoration is here to guide you through the cleanup process from start to finish. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Give us a call as soon as you discover water damage in your home, and we’ll be on our way!