It May Be Cold Outside – Just Don’t Let the Pipes Feel It

It only takes one cold Virginia night to freeze your home’s pipes, but it can take hours to thaw them and days to clean up all the damage if those pipes burst.

And that doesn’t include the headache of repairs and the bills that come with it.

Here’s some tips from your Roanoke plumber to help keep your pipes cozy when the temperature plummets.

  1. Preparation is the key to success in nearly all endeavors and keeping your pipes from freezing is no exception. Before the weather gets too cold, spend some time identifying pipes that are more exposed to the colder weather. Once you have found them, check them for cracks and have any leaks repaired. For healthy pipes, be sure to install either insulation or heating tape. This is like wrapping your pipes in a warm blanket.
  2. Seal your crawl spaces. If your pipes run under the home in a crawl space, be sure to winterize any openings. You can put plastic up on windows and use weatherproofing strips to seal doors.
  3. Once cold weather fully sets in, be sure you keep your heat at a consistent level. If you do reduce it during times when your family is asleep or away, do not set the thermostat to anything lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. If you’re expecting an unusually cold snap, let your faucets drip and keep cabinet doors where pipes reside open so they can receive some of the home’s heat.
  5. Make sure warm air circulates throughout your home. Adjust air vents and purchase magnetic air deflectors to channel warm air in the needed direction. Keeping your home’s warmth consistent throughout the home not only helps pipes to stay warm, it also helps your family stay cozy.
  6. Keep the garage door closed. This is not only a good idea for your pipes, your car and any other mechanical devices located in the garage will thank you for your concern. You may even consider redirecting warm air from the house or using a ceramic space heater in the garage to keep the pipes and appliances warm.

If the unthinkable still happens and your pipes freeze, begin applying heat immediately. If the temperature is expected to warm above freezing, the pipes may thaw on their own, but during periods of extended cold, turn off any water valves leading to the affected pipes and call a professional plumber equipped with pipe-thawing equipment to get your pipes flowing again.

A plumber can also determine if the pipes have burst in the walls or in other unseen areas due to freezing temperatures.

As always, feel free to call Southern Trust Home Services at (540) 343-4348 if we can help you get your plumbing working properly again.

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