Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to cover the outdoor furniture, rake up the remaining leaves, pull out the parkas and snow shovels, and start thinking about eating some turkey and pumpkin pie!
We don’t know what Mother Nature has in store for us this winter, but it’s bound to dip below freezing sooner or later, so it’s also time to think about how your pipes will do in the colder weather and make sure you don’t come home to any unexpected and unpleasant surprises. Pipes that aren’t properly insulated can freeze and burst, causing damage and flooding. The good news is that this is usually avoidable, and an ounce of prevention now can prevent pounds of pain later!
- Keep the Heat On. It’s tempting to try to save money in the winter by keeping the heat very low, or turning your heat off when you travel for the holidays. But the temperature can plummet quickly, especially in areas with lots of windows, such as sunrooms, or in basements and attics. Keep the heat set to at least 60 degrees, even if you’re going to be gone for a length of time.
- Keep cabinet and interior doors open. Allowing airflow to move freely throughout the house will ensure that one room doesn’t get too much colder than the rest of the house, especially if it’s a room in which you often close the heating vents. You should also keep under-sink cabinet doors open when it’s really cold outside, to allow heat in.
- Keep your faucets dripping. It’s annoying, we know, but if you have a pipe in a really cold area of the house or if it’s frozen before, this age-old trick rarely fails. With water moving, the pressure from a small, frozen area in a pipe can’t cause it to burst.
- Seal up those cracks and crevices. Drafty windows, door frames and basement areas can allow cold in, and if there are pipes in those areas, they’re vulnerable. Caulking or sealing those areas will not only protect your pipes, but save you money on your heating bill!
- Add insulation. Pipes in attics, basements or along exterior walls may need some extra insulation. Your local home improvement store sells foam rubber and fiberglass sleeves that will fit right over exposed pipes. If you can, add extra insulation to the walls as well.
We hope these tips will help keep you and your pipes safe, dry and toasty warm this winter. But if you ever have a problem, your disaster restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away. Have a great Thanksgiving, and enjoy that turkey and pumpkin pie!