With cold weather in our midst, now is the time to take steps to protect your pipes. The Springfield Water Department has a few tips to keep in mind for safeguarding your home.
Weatherproof: Install stripping on windows and doors to promote a warmer environment inside of your home. As warm air exits the house, it also pulls cold outdoor air into the house through the same tiny gaps around doors and windows. The entering cold air can freeze exposed water pipes. Door sweeps are also effective at keeping the cold from creeping inside. Thermal curtains can also be installed over windows.
Insulate: Pipes and faucets in less heated areas (crawl space, garage, etc.) can be given extra insulation. Pipe wrapping materials include but are not limited to: foam tape, foam pipe wrap, foil pipe wrap, and fiberglass pipe wrap.
Locate: Know the location of your main water shut off valve. In the case of a pipe bursting, less panic will be instilled if you are already familiar with the main water shut off valve’s location. This can also help minimize water damage.
Disconnect: Any outdoor hoses should be drained and disconnected. Simply detaching the hose protects the faucet and connected pipe from freezing. Faucet covers should also be placed over outdoor fixtures.
- Keep doors (including any garage doors) closed as much as possible.
- Keep doors of cabinets with exposed piping open. This allows warm air to circulate them as much as possible.
- Clean your gutters to allow snow and rain to drain properly.
- Inspect your roof for any imperfect shingles that could allow water and cold to enter your home.
If you suspect a pipe is frozen: USE CAUTION. If you can locate the frozen portion of the pipe, a hairdryer on a warm setting is a good tool for running up and down the length. Caution is important because the pipe may already be broken. Thawing the frozen spot on a broken pipe will cause water at a high pressure to come rushing out.
Never use an open flame, such as a candle, lighter, or match, to thaw a pipe.
Being prepared for cold weather is key! These lower temperatures are already among us, so protect your home today.