The general rule of thumb when it comes to plumbing freezing in the winter is that if the temperature outside drops below 32°F (0°C), the pipes inside your home may be at risk of freezing. If the temperature drops significantly lower than that, such as in the teens or single digits, it’s even more likely that your plumbing could freeze.
Generally, a frozen pipe can burst in as little as a few hours if the temperature is cold enough and the pressure is high enough. To help prevent this from happening, it’s important to keep pipes from freezing in the first place by insulating them, keeping the temperature of your home above freezing, and ensuring that pipes are properly maintained.
To keep your home’s plumbing safe during the winter months, here are some tips that you should consider:
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Uninsulated pipes in exposed areas like the attic, crawl spaces, and garage are especially vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Make sure to use proper insulation materials to protect them.
Fiberglass insulation, foam insulation, and heat tape are all excellent options for insulating plumbing to keep it from freezing. Fiberglass insulation comes in rolls that are easy to install around plumbing pipes. Foam insulation comes in pre-cut shapes and sizes that fit around pipes and can be sealed to the wall with caulk. Plumbing heat tape is an electrical heating element that is used to keep pipes from freezing in cold climates. It is a self-regulating, insulated cable that is wrapped around the pipe. When the temperature drops below freezing, the heat tape turns on, providing just enough heat to keep the pipes from freezing.
Keep Cabinets Open
If you have exposed pipes within your cabinets, keep the doors open to allow warm air to circulate. If you notice a drip or any signs of water, turn off the water shutoff valve and immediately put a bucket down to ensure that your space does not flood.
Disconnect Water Hoses and Insulate Outdoor Faucets and Spigots
Make sure to disconnect all water hoses from exterior faucets and spigots to prevent freezing. If you have outdoor faucets, make sure to insulate them with specially designed covers or wrap them in foam insulation. You can easily find these on Amazon or at your local hardware store.
Inspect for Leaks
Check your property for any signs of water leaks or dripping faucets, as these can lead to frozen pipes. Furthermore, if you are not going to be at home for more than 24 hours, you should consider having a third party frequently check your home for any signs of compromised plumbing. If you notice any signs of water spots, report those to your property manager and maintenance coordinator immediately.
Maintain Consistent Indoor Temperatures
Generally, it is recommended that you keep your thermostat at a minimum of 65°F to prevent plumbing from freezing. If your home cannot maintain a consistent temperature due to a power outage, it is important to take measures to protect your home’s plumbing to avoid costly repairs. It is recommended to keep each faucet at a slow drip to relieve water pressure and prevent freezing.
Know Where the Main Shutoff Valve Is – In case of an emergency, it’s important to know where the main shutoff valve is located so you can quickly shut off the water.
If you are renting your home, be sure to have the steps to file a maintenance work order handy.
Our top priority at RentWise Property Management is to care for your home as if it were our own. We know your investment is important to you, and you want it maintained both financially and physically. As you can see, there are many effective ways to protect your property. We care about our property owners and tenants just like our friends and family. We would love to have you as part of our RentWise Family! For more information on how we make things “Less Hassle, More Happy”- visit us here!