Winterizing Pipes

As the cold wintery weather approaches, there are certain precautions that you should take. When water freezes, it expands, and the same holds true for water in pipes. If the water expands enough, the pipes can even burst, resulting in leaks and damage.

In northern states, many houses have their pipes located in the insulation for more protection from the very cold weather, although they’re still vulnerable if the temperatures get low enough. In the south, although the weather usually doesn’t get as cold, except for one or two times a year, so the pipes may be more exposed and the homeowners less aware of the risk. Pipes in exterior walls and attics are especially vulnerable.

In newly constructed homes, the pipes should be placed properly to avoid these problems. However, that’s not always possible to make those changes in your home. Pipes in existing homes that are already exposed can be insulated pipe sleeves, which are available at hardware stores. If you have any holes in your wall for power lines, seal the holes with caulking to let in less cold air. For pipes in cabinets, you can leave the cabinet doors open from time to time to allow the warm air into the space. By letting a faucet drip, you can also keep the flow open, which would prevent bursts due if frozen, but also wastes some water.

If there is a problem, make sure to get help. Water leak detection and pipeline inspection can easily locate where a pipe has frozen and burst.

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