How to Freeze-Proof Your Pipes

January 28, 2014

Jeez, is it cold enough yet? Not only are you freezing, but this wicked winter weather in Kansas can possibly freeze your pipes. If left alone, the pressure from the unfrozen water between the ice and the closed faucets will cause the pipes to expand and burst, causing at least $5,000 of water damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS)

The pipes you need to worry about the most include: 

  • Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home (attic, crawl spaces, garage) 
  • Pipes located in exterior walls.
  • Any plumbing on the exterior of the home.

Take these preventative measures to prevent this costly winter disaster.

Tips for preventing pipes from freezing

  • Drain, disconnect and store your outside water hose- A frozen water hose can not only hurt the hose, but the pipes in your home as well. The frozen water expands and puts pressure on your whole plumbing system. 
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas- Use pipe sleeves or UL-listed heat tape to keep the pipes in attics, garages, and outside walls from freezing.
  • Take measures before you go on vacation- Before you leave for warmer climates, make sure your thermostat doesn't let the temperature go below 55 degrees F. Also, shut off your main water supply and flush the water system by opening your faucets and flushing your toilets.
  • Prevent a furnace breakdown - Make sure your furnace is in tip top shape so it can keep your home warm. The last thing you need a furnace that fails in the middle of the night or when you’re at work. That’s a prime time for pipes to freeze. Get preventative furnace maintenance from a professional to prevent an icy home and a watery disaster.
  • Keep faucets barely dripping- If temperatures fall below 25 degrees F, then leave all your faucets barely dripping to keep water moving and relieve pressure in the pipes.
  • Keep the garage door closed- This will help keep more heat inside your home and prevent exposed water supply lines from being exposed to cold air.
  • Keep a back-up generator in case of a power outage-The IBHS suggests you have a “reliable back-up power source, such as a stand by generator, to ensure continuous power to the building,” so your home’s interior temperature won’t drop below 32 degrees. 

If you need professional furnace maintenance or need a backup generator for your Kansas City home, contact us online for help.
 
Santa Fe Air Conditioning and Heating serves the Kansas City area. For more information, contact us online.