Indoor & Outdoor Winterization to Avoid Frozen & Burst Pipes
With the wild weather in Chicago, you need to make sure that you're protecting your home from internal threats. Having your pipes freeze up is extremely harmful to the entire plumbing system, and taking care of the fallout can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. As a homeowner, it's up to you to do everything you can in order to prevent this from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to help you ward off a frozen pipe disaster in your home.
Inside the House:
Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or higher. When the surrounding air is warmer, it will be more difficult for water in the pipes to plunge down to freezing temperatures.
Open cabinet doors in the kitchen and the bathroom. Again, this prevents the air in your home from becoming stagnant, and it stops water in the pipes from coming to a standstill.
Leave the cold water side of the faucet open—just a trickle. When you encourage the water to flow—even if it's just a tiny bit—you allow the water in the pipes to be slightly mobile. This makes it much more difficult for water to freeze.
Outside the House:
Close or cover all the vents to unheated areas. Protect the heat in your home and make a frozen pipe situation much less likely by closing or covering vents that lead to areas such as the attic, basement or crawlspace.
Remove all hoses. Help to keep the water in your pipes reasonably warm by taking out hoses.
Use frost-proof spigots. These provide a very cost-effective way to stop a frozen pipe before it even starts. Since you have to have spigots anyway, why not just install some that help you look out for your best interests?
Wrap any exposed pipes. Many are surprised to learn just how effective this common-sense method can be when you're trying to avoid a frozen pipe scenario.
Make sure outside walls are adequately insulated. When the freezing temperatures roll in, you'll be relieved that you shielded the outside of your home from the damaging effects of Arctic air.
How to Winterize a Vacant House
If you are leaving town because the weather outside is frightful, take the time to prepare for Mother Nature's wrath. If you are leaving an empty home that won't be attended to for a long time, you'll want to organize a plan to keep your home in working order under the elements.
You'll need to take the following steps to winterize the plumbing in an empty house:
- Turn off the water supply at the main water valve
- Turn down your thermostat to about 60 degrees or no lower than 55 degrees
- Drain water from your pipes and install pipe insulation
Don't let frozen pipes or soggy basements ruin your time away.
Get ahead of the problem by contacting Drip Drop Plumbing to request a home winterization service.