How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

How to Keep Pipes From Freezing

Northeast Ohio winters can be harsh and brutal.  The effects of cold temperatures and raw winter weather can wreck havoc on your home’s interior pipes and plumbing.  In the greater Cleveland area we are not strangers to what sub zero temperatures and polar vortexes can bring.  And with the right amount of preparation and caution taken through the long winter months you shouldn’t face too many additional surprises than weather swings.

During this season pipes are most susceptible to damage. Homeowners and sellers can follow a few steps and tips in preventing pipes from freezing or bursting in the bitter cold.  Navigating through the tips may cost money up front but mean savings in the end. 

The outdoor temperature of greatest concern is 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.  Keen eyes and ears are important here.

Taking inventory of your home’s layout and location of exposed or exterior pipes in the first step.  Knowing this information will help you to keep stock and watch of areas of potential damage.  Exposed pipes in garages, basements, and attics — unheated interior spaces — should be of first priority.  

Keep garage and porch doors closed during the winter months.  

Open cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow warmer air to circulate through cupboards.  Take this step in other rooms of your home with sinks or cupboards with pipes running through them.

If a faucet is dripping water allow it to continue.  The sound may be bothersome and may elevate your monthly water bill, it lets water run through the pipe which in turn prevents freezing.  

Keeping the thermostat at a consistent temperature, same during the day as at night, maintains the temperature of the pipes.  Fluctuations in temperatures can cause additional damage that can be prevented.  Thermostats should not be set below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Consider installing insulation or additional amounts of insulation in basements, garages, attics, crawl spaces, or porches.  Take steps to prevent drafts by sealing windows, cracks, and sill plates.  

During the winter a little modification can go a long way in keeping your home running smoothly in the hope of spring and sunshine.  

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