One of the dangers of living in Itasca, Illinois is having to deal with frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can stop water from flowing through them and even cause a burst pipe from the buildup of pressure. Numerous times during the winter season homeowners go on vacation and come back to a flooded home nightmare. It is a scary thought that the water pipes in your home can burst open causing water to spray inside the walls. That water can cause more damage because of mold hazards and more, which can be way more expensive for homeowners! Older homes are often the ones at risk. Modern building techniques and materials will keep your pipes warm. Older homes frequently have insulating materials that have lost their effectiveness and damage can cause the cold to get in. However, frozen pipes can be avoided. Here are some things to consider when it comes to preventing frozen pipes affecting your home this winter in Itasca, Illinois.
Frozen Pipe Prevention Itasca
Preventing your home from experiencing a frozen pipe problem is just a matter of being aware of certain things.
- Keep Your Heat On – One of the biggest causes of frozen pipes is people leaving their Itasca home for an extended period of time, turning off their heat hoping that they can save money. When you leave, make sure you keep the heat set above 55 degrees. This will keep your home warm enough during the winters in Itasca, Illinois so that your internal home temperature will warm the pipes enough in order to ensure they will not freeze.
- Patch Any Holes or Cracks: By patching any holes or cracks that might already be in your pipes, you are denying heat a way to get into the pipe easier. This is also just good protection for the future of your home as well.
- Let It Drip – This is the least effective way to prevent your pipes from freezing in Itasca, Illinois however, you can let small drips through the pipe. With the water constantly flowing it stops the pipe from freezing and bursting.
- Heat Tape – If you are worried about a pipe that is on a wall near the exterior you can wrap the pipe in heat tape. Heat tape will provide better insulation to the pipe than normal, and you can use the heat tape directly on the pipe. There are different types of heat tape you can use, one of the best is one that turns on and off by itself when heat is needed.
- Keep Your Doors Open – You can also open your internal doors, cabinet doors, and inside doors to allow heat to flow through the entire house and under the cabinets where the faucets are.
Winterizing Water Lines
Making sure that your pipes are well insulated is imperative in preventing them from freezing. This is especially important on pipes that are against outside walls and in the basement if the basement gets very cold. Though that is not the only thing to watch out for. Outside fixtures are more vulnerable to the cold than pipes inside the walls. Outside fixtures, such as faucets, often have shut off valves on the inside of the home. To winterize these simply close the shut-off valve and then open the fixture to allow the water to drain. Don’t wait to turn off your water spigot until it gets below freezing. Turn that off in the middle of November to ensure that it won’t freeze.
Check the Lines
Knowing what the temperature around your pipes is will allow you to keep a better eye out. When the outside temperature drops to below 32 degrees, you should check once to find the coldest spots in the home. Often times because pipes are in hard to reach places, a laser thermometer comes in handy. A closer eye is needed when the temperature outside drops to 20 degrees as this is when most inside pips that are at risk will be in danger. Pipes typically do not have a high risk of bursting until the temperature drops to below 20 degrees. If you notice a part of your home that has water pipes that drops to 32 degrees inside the home, be sure to check those water lines often or take preventative measures.
If you cannot thaw a line with a blow dryer or hot towel, stop there. The problem is bigger than just the exposed pipes you can see, and if there is a bigger problem inside the wall, than thawing it yourself might cause more issues. We can help when your pipes freeze or when you have a burst pipe, getting it fixed quickly makes all the difference. Call Ray’s Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning, and we’ll come out and get your pipes working in no time!