Plumbing problems can happen at any time of the year, but winter brings its own particular challenge: frozen pipes. Whether your household pipes are plastic, metal, or a mix, the water inside expands when it freezes. That puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your pipes and may even cause them to burst and flood your home.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of residential property damage during the frigid winter months. Between November and March, we see a lot of frozen pipe repairs in Salt Lake City, especially in older homes with insufficient insulation or pipes located in exterior walls. The good news is that there are a few preventative steps you can take to winterize your home and avoid a potential freeze.
1. Disconnect Outdoor Water Supplies
At the onset of cold weather, drain water from the swimming pool and sprinkler supply lines and store garden hoses until spring. Locate shutoff valves that lead to your exterior faucets and turn off the water.
2. Open Up Cabinets
Inside your home, keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to let warmer air circulate around your plumbing.
3. Let Your Faucets Drip
On the coldest of days, let the water trickle from faucets, especially those connected by exposed pipes. Running just a small amount of water through your pipes can help prevent them from freezing.
4. Keep Temperatures Steady
Set your thermostat to the same temperature for day and night. If you plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time, keep your heat on and set to at least 55 degrees. The cost of using utilities will be far less than repairing the damage of a frozen pipe.
5. Consider Longer-Term Solutions
Look around your home for pipes in unheated areas such as garages, attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Adding insulation can help maintain higher temperatures in those areas. If freezing pipes continue to be a concern, consider relocating exposed or exterior pipes for more protection.
The experts at Scott Hale are happy to consult on how to upgrade your home’s plumbing to better weather the winter and provide emergency service for frozen or burst pipes when they happen. We are the plumbing and heating repair company in Salt Lake City that’s here to keep you dry and cozy all season long!