By taking preventative measures you can avoid the catastrophe of frozen pipes from happening, such as flooded basements, damaged drywall and flooring, etc.
Winter weather can cause plumbing pipes to freeze and burst, which can inevitably cause expensive water damage to your home. Being proactive before the first freeze sets in can eliminate the risk of frozen pipes and financial consequences.
Handyman St Charles MO – Locate the Most Important Areas
Some pipes are more prone to freezing than others because of their location in the home.
Pipes most at risk for freezing in your home include:
- Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home.
- Pipes located in exterior walls.
- Plumbing on the exterior of the home.
Preventative Measures: drain the hose and pipes
A frozen garden hose can actually cause more damage than a busted hose; it can burst the interior pipe the outside faucet is connected to. When the water in the hose freezes, it expands, increasing pressure throughout the entire plumbing system. As part of your regular seasonal maintenance, before the first hard freeze, the pipes to the outside faucet should be drained completely.
Follow these steps in the order described to properly drain the pipes.
- Disconnect the garden hose from your outside faucet and store them away.
- On the inside of the house, find the water pipe that feeds the outside faucet. Trace up that pipe and find the dedicated shut-off valve only controls the outside faucet. Turn off that shut-off valve.
- Go open the outside faucet. Let the water drain out of the faucet completely. Then turn off the outside faucet. This will leave no water in the copper pipe from the inside water shut off valve to the outside faucet.
If you do not have a dedicated shut-off valve that controls only the outside faucet, you should consider installing them now. The pipes can not be drained properly without them.
Exposed Interior Plumbing
Exposed pipes in the basement aren’t in as much danger of freezing because they are in a heated portion of the home. Although plumbing pipes in an unheated area, such as an attic, crawl space, and garage, are at risk of freezing. Often, inexpensive foam pipe insulation is enough for moderately cold climates.
If pipes traveling in exterior walls have frozen in the past (signs may include water damage, mold, and moisture build-up), it’s probably because of improperly installed insulation. It might be worth the relatively small costs to open up the wall and beef up the insulation.
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