Frozen pipe with icicles

7 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

January 29, 2019

The National Weather Service is forecasting that a very dangerous arctic air mass will move into the Midwest during the next few days (1/28/19 to 1/31/19). This weather system will bring bitter cold and wind chills which are likely to hit record low temperatures. Are you prepared to prevent frozen pipes in your property?

Now is the time to take preventive measures to avoid frozen pipes in your home, building and structures. Frozen pipes and subsequent water leakage can result in costly water damage. Ideally, you would want to take preventive measures before the winter months and before bitter cold air fronts approach. This includes sealing all exterior cracks, holes, windows and doors to prevent cold air from coming inside; as well as sealing and insulating interior pipe stacks, chases and enclosed spaces – and especially those water pipes that are most vulnerable, near exterior walls.

If you didn’t get to these preventive measures before winter, it’s not too late to take additional preventive measures. The following steps can be taken during bitter cold temperatures to help prevent your water pipes from freezing and rupturing:

How to Keep Water Pipes from Freezing in the Bitter Cold

7 Tips to Prevent Burst Pipes:

1. Slow drip. If your water pipes pass through unheated or unprotected enclosed spaces, consider allowing a slow drip from your faucets to reduce the buildup of pressure in the pipes. Even if water in a pipe does freeze, the pressure release from a slow drip may help to reduce the likelihood of a ruptured pipe.
2. Allow warmer room air to reach enclosed pipes. Where water pipes are vulnerable near exterior walls, open the cabinets under faucets and consider removing basement ceiling tiles to expose these pipes to warmer air from the room. This allows the warmer air from the room to circulate into those enclosed areas and may help to keep those pipes warmer, possibly preventing a ruptured pipe.
3. Set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees. Maintain a minimum interior building temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Periodically check on any unoccupied buildings or spaces for signs of low interior temperatures or ruptured pipes.
4. Don’t allow inside temperatures to fluctuate. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night.
5. Insulate exterior spigots. Protect outdoor spigots with insulating domes or other coverings to reduce the likelihood of those water pipes freezing and rupturing. Disconnect all exterior hoses from outdoor spigots.
6. Monitor space heater use. As always, use extreme caution and constant supervision with space heaters.
7. Shut off water immediately if you notice a leak. If you notice any water leakage, immediately shut off the system control valves that lead to any leaking pipes, to reduce water damage. Immediately contact a licensed and qualified plumber to assess the situation to prevent further damage and to make necessary repairs with a restoration professional.

Thank you to our friends at Society Insurance for the tips.