As summer has come and gone and temperatures continue to fall, it’s time to prepare your property for the freezing temperatures of Colorado winters. The drop in temperature can take a toll on poorly insulated and protected plumbing fixtures and pipes.
Frozen or burst pipes are more than just an inconvenience. A frozen pipe means you’re left without water and a plumbing repair. In addition, a burst pipe can cause severe damage to a home as the water migrates through your home. A frozen pipe leading to water damage can cost thousands of dollars. As a homeowner, you need to be proactive and look for ways to prevent frozen pipes before winter sets.
Here’s our take on how to prevent frozen pipes before the Colorado winter sets in and what to do if they burst at all.
Tips to prevent Frozen Pipes
Temperatures below freezing can cause pipes to burst and a homeowner should take precautions to prevent them from freezing. Plus, a resident should also be familiar with the location of the water shutoff valve in the home. In the event of a burst pipe, it is crucial so you can quickly shut off the water supply to prevent further damage.
Cover outdoor pipes
Pipes in colder areas such as the basement, attics, or crawlspaces are critical to pay close attention to. Your outdoor pipes are most vulnerable to freezing as they are directly exposed to harsh winter weather. So, as we’re approaching colder temperatures, be sure to prepare outdoor pipes to the element,. You can buy heat tape, heat cables, and faucet covers from the local hardware to take extra precaution. Heating and/or protecting will prevent heat transfer from the water in the pipe to the cold air surrounding it. These covers are a good way to keep pipes warm and to avoid freezing. The more insulation, the better protected your pipes are from heat loss. Also, try to inspect the areas around the plumbing for any cracks. If you find gaps in the foundation or outside walls, try to seal them with caulk or spray foam insulation to prevent cold air from entering your home.
Disconnect hoses from spigots
Don't use your hose throughout the winter. Disconnect them from the outdoor spigot and drain the lines. The next step is to cover the hose bib. You can buy hose bib covers that are made of insulating foam. Just place the foam cover over the spigot to help prevent the pipe from freezing.
Open Cabinet Doors
The plumbing underneath your cabinets might not get the warm household air. So, cold air can accumulate in the area beneath sinks and cabinets. All you need to do is open the cabinet doors under the sink to keep the pipes warm.
Close garage doors
If your plumbing is routed through the unheated garage space, it is exceptionally vulnerable to winter conditions. If you have an attached garage, keep the doors shut to avoid any trouble during the winter.
Allow Pressure in Pipes
The best way to prevent frozen pipes is by allowing water to travel through the pipes which alleviates pressure. Slightly turn on the hot and cold faucets to keep water flowing through the pipes during extreme conditions. Find the faucet farthest from where water enters the house and let it slowly drip.
Adjust the Thermostat
If you’re leaving the house for multiple days or going on vacation this winter for a long time, you’ll need to keep the heat on. All you need to do is find the lowest possible temperature that will save you money on energy bills but also protect your pipe at the same time. Experts recommend a temperature around 50-550C. So, set the thermostat above this value to prevent freezing pipes while you’re away.
The other way around is to clear the pipes from water. You can shut off your main water valve and turn on all water fixtures until water stops coming out. So, when there’s no water in the pipes, there’ll be no freezing of pipes.