According to insurance industry statistics, 250,000 Americans have at least one room damaged by water from frozen pipes each winter. The cost of removing the water and repairing the damage exceeds $4 billion annually. It doesn’t matter if you’re used to cold weather or live in a mild climate, frozen pipes can affect you.
Water damage is more likely to occur when homeowners thaw their pipes quickly. This creates steam that has the potential to rupture water lines. Fortunately, preventing frozen pipes is much easier than thawing them or repairing the damage. Just follow these three easy steps.
1. Freeze-Safe Thermostat Settings
Always keep your thermostat around 58 degrees at night and when you’re away from home. If temperatures fall below 55 degrees, pipes are more likely to freeze. Your home will also be at risk if the power goes out or your furnace malfunctions.
2. Dripping Faucets
Allowing hot and cold faucets to drip is one of the most common and effective methods for avoiding frozen pipes. If temperatures will remain low, let the dripping continue during the day.
3. Opening Cabinet Doors
To protect pipes that travel through chilly cabinets, open the doors on bathroom vanities and under kitchen sinks. This allows warm air to circulate around the pipes, which is helpful for preventing freezing.
These simple strategies can only go so far in extreme winter weather. If you have plumbing on exterior walls or pipes that are susceptible to freezing, it is wise to hire a home contractor to install additional insulation or foam pipe wraps. Don’t take a chance thawing frozen pipes on your own. Always call a professional to assess the situation and safeguard your home against water damage