Take These Steps Now So You Don’t Get Frozen Pipes This Winter

It is the time of year when we are raking leaves, visiting the pumpkin patch, and picking apples. In many parts of the country, homeowners are enjoying the cool, crisp air and watching the leaves change. Nobody wants to think ahead to the freezing days of winter. Maybe you just aren’t prepared to deal with winter yet, or maybe you live in a warm climate where you think you don’t have to worry about a cold snap. Don’t fool yourself; you never know when temperatures will drop to below freezing, even if you live in sunny California.

With the recent global changes in climate, temperatures are unpredictable. You should start preparing your home soon for whatever changes the coming winter season might bring. Fortunately, this only requires a few simple steps on your part and a small investment of your time. Taking the time to prepare now can prevent you from getting frozen pipes this winter. Addressing these issues now is particularly important if you live in an area, like Southern California, where many homes are built on slab foundations. The lack of protection around the pipes in a home that has a slab foundation makes the pipes particularly susceptible to freezing and bursting. So take these steps now so that you don’t get frozen pipes this winter.

First, you should understand what causes pipes to freeze. The first culprit is a sudden, drastic drop in temperature. If the temperature outdoors has been fairly consistent and seasonally appropriate, but the forecast calls for a drastic drop of 20+ degrees overnight, you could be at risk for frozen pipes. There isn’t anything you can do to control the temperature, but you can take steps to protect your plumbing.

The second cause of frozen pipes is a lack of insulation. Fortunately, you can easily remedy this situation.

The third and final cause of frozen pipes is turning the thermostat down too low. Nobody wants to pay a fortune to the utility company to heat their home, but you will have a much bigger, more expensive problem on your hands if your pipes freeze and burst. Even if you go out of town, you should keep your thermostat set at a reasonable temperature so that your pipes don’t freeze.

The most important thing you can do to prevent frozen pipes is to insulate your pipes. Look for exposed pipes in your crawl space and attic, and cover them with insulation. This will also help to cut down on your heating costs.

You can also use heat tape to wrap your pipes. This is a particularly good choice for pipes that are located in a crawl space and are susceptible to the cold outdoor temperatures. Be sure to choose the appropriate variety of heat tape; it comes in interior and exterior forms.

It is also important to fill any gaps or air leaks that could be letting cold air into your home. Check for leaks around pipes, dryer vents, or electrical wiring. You can fill these leaks with expandable spray foam insulation to keep cold air out.

Finally, remove and store garden hoses for the winter. You should also drain the water from any pipes that lead to exterior spigots.

Taking these steps will keep cold air out of your home, maintain the warm temperature inside your home, and keep your pipes from freezing. If you could use some assistance in readying your home for winter, contact Scott English Plumbing. We handle all kinds of routine plumbing matters, and we also respond to emergencies like broken pipes. Give Scott English Plumbing a call today.