The first big winter storm of 2015 has hit, and it's already affecting homeowners in the Northeast with bone-chilling temperatures. One of the biggest pains that occur during these times are the water pipes, which can freeze and possibly burst, leaving you with flooding and costly water damage inside your home. Frozen pipes usually occur when there's poor insulation, the thermostats set too low or there's a sudden drop in temperature. Here are a few preventative measures a homeowner can take to prevent any damage to their pipes, and maintain a warm CT home throughout the winter.
Cover Exposed Interior Pipes
All plumbing pipes that are exposed in an unheated area like a garage or an attic are at high risk of freezing. Typically, foam pipe insulation is inexpensive and can handle moderately cold weather. As the temperature dips, switching to thremostatically controlled heat tape is recommended as it turns on when it reaches a set minimum temperature. Prices on the tape vary between $50 to $200 depending on the length. Make sure you follow all of the manufacturers' installation and operation instructions
It might be a minor inconvenience but spending a couple hundred dollars this winter to open up your walls and add extra insulation, especially if the pipes have frozen inside of them before. You can tell if the pipes have frozen in the past by the mold and moisture build-up. There's a chance that the insulation was improperly installed as well. All of these preventative steps can cost anywhere from $800 and up, and that doesn't include putting the room back together.
Leaks allow cold air inside of your home where the pipes are located and in the severe cold, the smallest opening can let in enough air to cause pipes to freeze. Check for leaks around dryer vents and electrical wiring, and use caulk to keep the cold out.
Sometimes, trickling hot or cold water on your pipes overnight is all it takes to prevent your pipes from freezing. Other small tricks include keeping your thermostat at the same temperature in the day and night, opening cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes and shutting off water in pipes that lead to outside faucets.