With winter coming, people all over Colorado are starting to winterize their homes. However, people often forget about winterizing their pipes. This can lead to them freezing and ultimately bursting or breaking due to the pressure built up inside.
How do you know if you have a frozen pipe?
There are several pipelines throughout your home, so how do you know if there’s an issue with one?
- Nothing comes out when you run water. When you turn on a faucet or flush the toilet, the water may start to sputter, not refill, or stop coming out altogether.
- You hear water even if the water is turned off. This may mean you have a leak (and doesn’t just apply to frozen water lines).
- A wall or ceiling is growing mold, cracking, or visibly wet. This could also be a sign of a frozen and/or burst pipeline.
How do I winterize my home’s pipelines?
- Insulation: Insulate the space around the pipes, giving special attention to older and recently repaired lines. Heat tape also works well when wrapped around the piping, but may be hazardous. Also, insulate basements, crawl spaces, and attics that have pipelines running through them.
- Dripping: Let your faucets drip overnight when you know the temperatures are going to be at an extreme low. This keeps pressure from building up. Even if a pipe or two end up freezing, there is less of a chance that it will burst.
- Cracks: Fixing cracks along the exterior of your house can keep the cold from penetrating your home and freezing your pipes.
- Crawl Spaces: Sealing off crawl spaces that are ventilated can help keep pipelines from becoming frozen.
- Heat: Open cabinets overnight or make sure every area of your home is heated to prevent freezing. Also, keep your heat on when you leave your home! Even if kept at a lower temperature like 45-55°F when away, as long as it’s well above freezing, your pipes have a better chance of not bursting.
- Exterior: Turn off your sprinkler systems and disconnect garden hoses. Check the piping in, and around, your garage as well.