The weather is dangerously cold this week and we’ve all heard stories of homes with burst pipes. Those stories always seem to happen to someone else, but do you ever wonder: am I at risk?
Water expands in pipes in cold temperatures causing them to potentially freeze or even rupture or burst if the pressure becomes too great. It is possible for frozen pipes to occur when outdoor temperatures reach 20 degrees so generally speaking, those of us that live in a cold climate where temperatures often drop to 20 degrees and below are in fact at risk for frozen pipes.
Certain conditions in a home make water pipes more vulnerable to freezing such as the pipe’s location or its exposure to cold air.
The damage that can potentially result from burst pipes can be catastrophic, but there are things you can do. Here are some simple strategies to reduce your risk of frozen pipes:
• Run faucets to keep the water line from freezing
• Open cabinets to expose pipes to warmer air
• Seal drafts around windows and doors and foundation cracks in basements
• Lock your windows and close your curtains
• Replace your furnace’s air filter so it runs more efficiently
• Cover pipes with foam insulation or heat tape
• Inspect pipes for frost
• Always maintain a minimum indoor temperature of 55 degrees in vacant property