Why You Should Winterize Your Pipes

Winterizing plumbing pipes is a process that prepares household plumbing from freezing temperatures that can cause leaks and breaks in the home. When water freezes, it expands as it becomes ice. This expansion produces pressure within pipes which causes damage. But contrary to popular belief, pipes don’t burst at the point where water freezes, but somewhere between the freeze and a closed faucet, such as a kitchen faucet or washing machine. When the pressure builds up due to an ice blockage, it has nowhere to go but through the pipe walls, leading to extensive water damage. Winterize your home plumbing, stop frozen pipes before they happen and prevent water damage by properly insulating the plumbing pipes. Everyone here at Ray’s Plumbing and Heating want to encourage all of our valued clients and everyone to schedule a professional inspection prior to the frigid winter weather.


Pipe Insulating

Your pipes are more susceptible to freezing damage when temperatures drop to 20 degrees or below. Pipe insulation provides your first line of defense against cold temperatures and frozen pipes. If you live in an area where these temperatures are the norm, take extra caution when adding pipe insulation. For example, in and around Chicago, the temperature can get down to 27 below 0 degrees with wind chill. For pipe winterization, add a thick layer of insulation around your pipes.

Insulate the pipes in all unheated areas, as they are most likely to freeze. A hardware or plumbing supply store should have the insulation and tools you need. But in most cases, it is best to let a professional insulate your pipes to ensure it is done properly and that you purchase the correct size of tube. Wrap the pipes in insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Take extra care with pipes that have previously frozen or have been repaired in the last 12 months, as these pipes are more susceptible to damage. Wrapping pipes in heat-tape prior to insulating adds an extra layer of protection. This step is best left to experts like at Ray’s Plumbing and Heating as the wrong way of installation of heat-tape can cause damage to the pipes rather than protect it.


Keep a Dripping Faucet

On nights when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing, turn on faucets alone the exterior walls to create a small steady drip. This eliminates pressure that can build between the faucet and an ice blockage, so even if a pipe freezes, it may not burst.


Open Cabinets

You can stop frozen pipes by introducing more heat. Open all sink-based cabinet doors along exterior walls to allow more heat to reach the pipes.


Seal Off Crawl Space

Pier and beam homes with ventilated crawl spaces should be sealed against the cold weather. Cover your vents with heavy duty pieces of cardboard cut to fit the vents, duct taping the cardboard in place. Don’t forget to seal off access to the crawl space. If you have a basement, look for cracked windows that could allow cold air to make contact with pipes. Check for worn or missing insulation around utility doors and the garage. Reducing the amount of cold air in the area minimizes your pipes’ vulnerability to freezing.

The professionals here at Ray’s Plumbing and Heating are on hand to perform a thorough inspection of your plumbing pipes, identify any problems and, if need be, present with favorable, effective solutions. Our highly skilled and trained plumbers can certainly help you to prepare for the bitter, threatening cold winter months ahead. They can easily identify pipes in your home that are very susceptible to freezing and can present with major problems for you and your family. Our plumbers will insulate any potentially troublesome pipes to protect them from the frigid winter temperatures and provide comfort and assurance to your family that frozen pipes will not be one of your winter weather challenges. Abundant snowfall, ice storms, treacherous driving, and even heating issues may very well make their presence known, but with the experts here Ray’s Plumbing and Heating, frozen pipes will certainly not be on the roster of winter woes.

Having earned ourselves a spot at the top of the marketplace charts, the friendly and professional team here at Ray’s Plumbing and Heating stands ready to provide you with all your plumbing needs. There is truly no project too big or too small for our team. Summer is quickly coming to a close and fall is right around the corner which means winter is not far behind. With that said, why not take time out today to call in our professionals to conduct your fall plumbing inspection and ensure the overall security and safety of your home. We look forward to serving you and to providing you with all your plumbing products, repairs and service needs. Don’t hesitate. Schedule your inspection today!!