Compared to other parts of the country, we’re a little spoiled here in Charlotte. Our 40 and 50-degree winter temperatures are relatively mild. (Minnesotans might call them downright balmy.) While frozen water pipes aren’t on the top of your list of worries, all it takes is the temperature dipping below 20 degrees for a bit. One severe winter storm and you’ll have to deal with more than a snow-packed driveway.
Frozen pipes are at risk for bursting, destroying not only the plumbing but everything in the spraying water’s path. Imagine coming home from work or vacation and finding standing water in your home. Belongings like your furniture would be ruined, not to mention structures like your walls or electric wires.
Frozen pipes are costly to repair, but they are also preventable. Here are five home improvement tips to get you prepared for when the weather gets cold.
Invest in Insulation
A well-insulated home is the best way to prevent frozen pipes, not to mention it will lower your heating and cooling bills. But don’t go ordering insulation in bulk just yet, as your entire home may not need it. A professional will take into consideration where your pipes run, and give you the most bang for your buck by installing the insulation where it will most protect your pipes.
Cracks in your walls, especially in the attic, basement, and exterior walls are letting in cold air. Pay attention to where walls join and the areas around any fixtures on the walls. Caulking also keeps insects out, so it’s beneficial to do this DIY task periodically. However, when it comes to your pipes, caulking may not be enough to keep your pipes from freezing.
Install Pipe Insulation
Pipe covers made out of foam, rubber, or fiberglass slide over the water pipes and will prevent freezing. The cost for these materials varies, and a plumber will know what materials you actually need. Some pipes could be hard to access, so don’t destroy your walls trying to cover hard to reach pipes. Let a professional do the job right.
Heat cables act as an electric blanket for your water pipes. These cables run the length of your plumbing and are used with or with pipe insulation. But choose the wrong type of cable for your water pipes, and you could end up melting them. Heat cables are a very effective choice, but definitely not DIY.
Upgrade Basement Windows
If your home is older, the basement windows may due for replacement. Even newer, lower quality windows may not be effective at keeping out the cold. Your house may need storm windows. Like installing insulation, this not only protects your water pipes but is an investment in your entire house.
Frozen pipes are not only expensive, they can be dangerous. Don’t put your family and belongings at risk this winter. We’ve been in business since 2001, and our plumbers have over 20 years of experience in the field. Let the pros at 1 Call Plumbing assess your home for ways you can prevent frozen pipes this winter. Contact us online, or give us a call at (704) 563-8182.