Snow-covered winter weather offers things like sledding down a nearby hill or snowball fights in the back yard. At the same time, winter weather can be tough on your home. Extremely cold conditions can cause the water lines in your plumbing to freeze and burst, which could result in significant water damage and enduring negative effects.

If your pipes are frozen, you might need to hire a plumber in Narvon to resolve the issue. However, there’s multiple things you can attempt to stop this from happening – and even a little prevention can go a long way.

What Pipes Are at More Risk of Freezing

The pipes at the largest risk of freezing are uninsulated water lines. Prevalent locations for uninsulated pipes are inside attic crawlspaces, near exterior walls, in the basement or even running beneath a modular home. Water lines that are not correctly insulated are at the highest risk.

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing Over in Your Home

Thoroughly insulating uncovered water lines is a good first step to keeping your pipes free of ice. You’ll likely have access to most of these materials from the local plumbing company, and might also already have some somewhere in your home.

Be mindful not to cover other flammable insulation materials where they might be caught on fire. If you don’t feel confident insulating the pipes yourself, call your local plumbing services professional in Narvon to handle the job.

If you do choose to insulate the pipes on your own, common insulation materials for pipes include:

  • Wraps or roll insulation: Multiple plumbers, hardware stores and national retailers sell insulation – typically fiberglass, foam wraps or pipe sleeves – that you can use to wrap or fit around your pipes. They are supplied in different lengths and sizes to suit the needs of your home.
  • Newspaper: To some degree, newspaper can be used as an insulator. If the weather is getting colder and you aren’t able to buy insulation soon enough, try wrapping uninsulated pipes in this.
  • Towels or rags: If you aren’t able to install insulation and don’t have any newspaper to use, wrapping particularly vulnerable pipes with towels or clean rags as a final effort can be just enough to keep the cold air away from the pipes.

Another preventative step you can take to prevent pipes from being covered in ice is to seal up any cracks that may permit cold air into your home. Pay close attention to window frames, which can let in surprisingly powerful drafts. Not only will this help to prevent your pipes from freezing, but it will have the added benefit of making your home more energy efficient.

Five More Ways to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing:

  • Open the cabinet doors. Opening the cabinet doors beneath the sinks and other rooms of your home that have pipes will allow more warm air from the rest of the room to reach the pipes.
  • Letting water drip. Keeping a flow of water by letting your faucets move even just a bit can help avoid frozen pipes.
  • Open interior doors. By opening doors between rooms or hallways, your home can be heated more consistently. This is mostly important if you have a room that is frequently colder or hotter than the rest of the home.
  • Close the garage door. The exception to the open doors recommendation is the garage door, which you should keep down – especially if your water lines are installed under the garage.
  • Keep the heat consistent. Experts recommend setting the thermostat at a persistent temperature and leaving it there, rather than letting it get colder at night. Set it no lower than 55 degrees.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing in an Unused Home

When you’re inside a house, it’s not difficult to realize when something isn't right. But what additional steps can you take to stop pipes from freezing in an unused home or vacation home when the consequences from a frozen pipe might not be discovered for days or even weeks?

As with your primary residence, placing extra insulation around any exposed water lines, opening interior doors inside the home and winterizing the vacant home are the basic steps to attempt first.

Extra Steps to Stop Pipes from Freezing in a Vacant Home:

  1. Leave the heat on. Even though you aren't currently using the home, it’s best to keep the heat on – even if you adjust the thermostat down cooler than you would if you were there. As with a primary house, experts encourage keeping the temperature at no cooler than 55 degrees.
  2. Shut water off and drain the lines. If you’re going to be out of the house for several weeks or are winterizing a seasonal cabin or cottage, shutting the water off to the house and clearing the water out of the water lines is a good way to keep pipes from freezing and bursting. Don’t forget to flush the water out of all appliances, like the hot water heater, and the toilets. Make sure you clear out all the water from the plumbing. If you’re unsure of how to flush the water from the pipes, or don’t feel comfortable handling it yourself, a plumber in Narvon will be happy to step in.