Sure, it’s hot out now, but as every true Minnesotan knows it’s never too early to start planning for winter (sorry for the reminder, we promise you’ll thank us later). With the cold comes frozen noses, frozen feet, and, if you’re not properly prepared, frozen pipes. Each year, nearly a quarter of a million families in the US have their homes damaged and their lives disrupted because of unprotected water pipes that freeze and then burst. Even the tiniest crack in a pipe can unleash up to 250 gallons of water a day; and though Nowthen will be there right away to help fix it up, we’d rather save you the time, money, and aggravation later by giving you a few tips on how to prevent frozen pipes now.
Before it gets cold make sure you insulate, seal, and disconnect!
Be sure to insulate the exposed pipes in your crawl spaces and attic. These pipes are the most susceptible to freezing, so don’t be shy with that insulation! Seal air leaks in areas near pipes, especially around dryer vents and electrical wiring. Even the smallest leak can cause big problems. Disconnect garden hoses and drain the water from the pipes leading to outside faucets using an indoor valve if possible.
Before you go on vacation take the necessary precautions.
Whenever you leave your house empty for an extended period of time it’s extremely important that you take the necessary precautions to make sure you don’t come home to burst pipes and major problems. Though we know you’d like to save on heating costs, make sure the thermostat is set no lower than 55 degrees. If possible, arrange for a neighbor or friend to periodically check in on the house to make sure it’s not too cold, or just turn off the water system entirely to be extra safe.
If pipes freeze, act quickly but don’t panic.
If your pipes are frozen (nothing comes out when you turn on the faucet) call a Nowthen plumber immediately. If you’re worried that your pipes have already burst, be sure to turn off the main water valve right away to prevent any further damage until we can get there to help.
As with any household problem, knowledge about preventative measures is key. Feeling better about winter already? We thought you would!