5 Ways to Prevent Pipes From Bursting in the Winter
When water freezes, it expands, and weak metal or plastic pipes that aren't insulated are more susceptible to bursting or leaking. As the weather gets into freezing temperatures, follow these tips to keep your pipes running.
1. Allow the faucet to drip: When pipes freeze, the pressure created by the blockage and faucet causes the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open and drip will relieve pressure in the system. If the faucet has both hot and cold water pipes, turn both handles slightly so that each pipe is open. If it is a single-handle faucet, turn it to warm.
2. Keep the Heat On: Always keep the heat on in your home to keep your pipes warm and prevent the water from freezing. If you leave for a long period of time, keep your home between 50-55 degrees.
3. Apply Heating Tape: There are two types of heating tape for water pipes. One turns on and off by itself when it senses that heat is needed. The other type requires a plug when heat is needed. Heating tape acts as an electrical blanket for pipes during cold spells. These can be very useful when you do not want to think about keeping your faucets dripping. However, much like space heaters, these products can be dangerous so you must use safety precautions.
4. Seal Up Cracks and Holes: Seal the gaps and holes that are letting cold air where pipes run through walls or floors. You can use spray foam insulation or caulk to fill the gaps. If possible, it is best to seal the holes on both the interior and exterior side of wall or floor.
5. Add Extra Insulation: Pipes that are located in attics or basements that may not be insulated will likely require extra insulation to keep them warm. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing.
If you are in need of water damage mitigation services, call SERVPRO of Chattanooga at (423) 326-1604.