Lots of snow and winter weather presents a great opportunity for fun activities like sledding down the highest hill or snowball fights in the back yard. However, winter weather can be hard on your home. Excessively cold conditions can cause the water lines in your home to freeze and burst, which can cause serious water damage and long-lasting negative effects.

When your pipes are frozen solid, you should call a plumber in Kankakee to handle the problem. Nevertheless, there’s several tasks you can try to prevent this from happening – and even a little prevention can go a long way.

What Pipes Are at Risk of Freezing

The pipes at the greatest risk of freezing are uncovered water lines. Common locations for uninsulated pipes are in attic crawlspaces, near exterior walls, in the basement or even running underneath a modular home. Water lines that are not properly insulated are at the highest risk.

How to Stop Pipes from Freezing in Your Home

Thoroughly insulating exposed water lines is a solid first step to keeping your pipes safe. You’ll likely find most of these materials from the local plumbing company, and might also already have some inside your home.

Be careful not to wrap up other flammable insulation materials where they can light on fire. If you don’t feel confident insulating the pipes on your own, get in touch with your local plumbing services professional in Kankakee to get the job done right.

If you do prefer to insulate the pipes yourself, popular insulation materials for pipes include:

  • Wraps or roll insulation: Many plumbers, hardware stores and national retailers offer insulation – commonly fiberglass, foam wraps or pipe sleeves – that you can use to wrap or fit around your pipes. They are sold in different lengths and sizes to fit the needs of your home.
  • Newspaper: To some degree, newspaper can be used for insulation. If the weather is cooling down and you aren’t able to buy insulation before then, wrap uninsulated pipes in this.
  • Towels or rags: If you miss the opportunity to buy insulation and don’t have any newspaper handy, wrapping especially vulnerable pipes with towels or clean rags as a final effort may be just enough to keep the cold air away from the pipes.

An additional preventative step you can attempt to keep pipes from being covered in ice is to seal up any cracks that could allow cold air in your home. Keep an eye on the window frames, which can allow in surprisingly strong drafts. Not only will this help to prevent your pipes from freezing, but it will have the added benefit of making your home more energy efficient.

Five More Ways to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing:

  • Open the cabinet doors. Opening the cabinet doors beneath the sinks and other spaces of your home with plumbing will allow more warm air from the rest of the room to flow near the pipes.
  • Letting water drip. Keeping a flow of water by letting your faucets drip even just a bit can help prevent frozen pipes.
  • Open interior doors. By opening doors in rooms or hallways, your home can be heated more consistently. This is especially important if there's a room that is frequently colder or hotter than other rooms.
  • Close the garage door. The exception to the open doors tip is the garage door, which you should keep down – especially if your water lines are installed under the garage.
  • Keep the heat consistent. Experts suggest setting the thermostat at a stable temperature and leaving it there, rather than permitting it to get cooler at night. Set it no cooler than 55 degrees.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing in an Unused Home

When you’re inside a house, it’s easier to know when something breaks down. But what additional steps can you attempt to prevent pipes from freezing in a vacant home or vacation home when the damages from a frozen pipe may not be discovered for days or even weeks?

As with your primary residence, insulating any exposed water lines, opening interior doors throughout the home and winterizing the vacant home are the best steps to take.

Added Steps to Keep Pipes from Freezing in an Unused Home:

  1. Leave the heat on. Even though you aren't currently using the home, it’s best to keep the heat on – even if you switch the thermostat down cooler than you would if you were there. As with a primary house, experts suggest keeping the temperature at no cooler than 55 degrees.
  2. Shut water off and drain the lines. If you’re going to be out of the house for a long time or are winterizing a vacation cabin or cottage, turning the water off to the house and clearing the water out of the water lines is a good way to stop pipes from freezing and breaking. Remember to clear the water out of your appliances, like the hot water heater, as well as the toilets. Confirm you empty all the water from the pipes. If you are not sure of how to flush the water from the pipes, or don’t feel confident performing it on your own, a plumber in Kankakee will be delighted to help.