Preparation is Key

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. Such expansion can put tremendous pressure on pipes – whether metal or plastic. Pipes most susceptible to freezing are those exposed to severe cold with little or no insulation.

  • Pipes that run against exterior walls
  • Unheated interior areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and garages
  • Swimming pool supply lines
  • Water sprinkler lines
  • Water supply pipes
  • Outdoor faucets

Some Simple Steps to Prevent Frozen Pipes:

Outside

  • Drain and disconnect any garden hoses – A frozen garden hose can actually burst an interior pipe.
  • Exterior faucets – close the interior shut-off valve leading to each faucet. Open and drain the spigot, install a faucet insulator.
  • Seal air leaks around incoming electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.

Inside

  • Turn up the thermostat – especially in old homes built over an uninsulated crawl space.  The extra expense on heating is less than repairing extensive damage from frozen pipes.
  • Install fiberglass insulation – Assess and install insulation in attics, crawl spaces, over and around poorly protected pipes.
  • Install heating cable – on or around vulnerable pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors – Open cabinet doors under sinks along an exterior wall.