Winters can get mighty cold. In fact, the winter temperature here in Virginia often falls below freezing. Because of this, the pipes in your home can succumb to the cold temperature and freeze.
And as we all know, frozen pipes can be more than annoyance, they can lead to expensive damage inside your home. Thankfully, we have complied the following information to help prevent your pipes from freezing this winter.
Pipes Under Sinks
Even when you’re heating your entire home, the pipes located underneath the kitchen and bathroom sink can get pretty cold. Thankfully, you can heat this area by simply opening the cabinet doors to let the warm area come in direct contact with the pipes hidden under the sink. If, however, you store chemicals and cleaning products under the sink, make sure to remove them to a safe location if you have children or pets who could encounter them.
Pipes in the Basement or Crawlspace
The pipes running through the basement or crawlspace are at a risk of freezing if you don’t heat that area. Wrapping the pipes in inexpensive pipe insulation is a budget-friendly and easy way to help protect them from the cold.
Another option is to place an electric heater in the basement or crawlspace. Set the heater to about 40-degrees Fahrenheit to prevent frozen pipes. Keep in mind, however, that you should never leave any electric heater running while you’re not home. Furthermore, keep the heater away from any flammable materials, like clothing, chemicals, cardboard and paper.
When your Pipes are Already Frozen
Frozen pipes are no laughing matter. If you’re faced with frozen pipes, there are few things you can do to help speed up the unthawing process and prevent further damage.
First of all, you should turn the faucet of the pipe that is frozen completely open and leave it that way until the pipes have thawed. This relieved pressure built up in the pipes, thus helping to prevent a burst pipe.
Another way to help unthaw the pipes is to apply heat via a hairdryer to the frozen pipes. Make sure to hold the hairdryer 4 to 8 inches away from the pipe, while moving it in a back and forth motion. Depending on how frozen the pipe is, this can take an extended period of time before the pipe is unfrozen.