Lots of snow and winter weather offers fun activities like sledding down the highest hill or snowball fights in the neighbor's yard. At the same time, winter weather can be difficult on your home. Excessively cold conditions can encourage the water lines in your house's plumbing system to freeze and burst, which can result in severe water damage and enduring negative effects.

If your pipes are frozen solid, you should hire a plumber in Kankakee to resolve the issue. That being said, there’s a lot you can perform on your own to prevent this from happening – and even just a bit of prevention can go a long way.

What Pipes Are at More Risk of Freezing

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

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing Over in Your Home

Sufficiently insulating exposed water lines is a great first step to keeping your pipes ice free. You’ll likely find most of these materials from a local plumbing company, and may also already have some someplace in your home.

Try not to wrap other flammable insulation materials where they can catch 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 handle the job.

If you do decide to insulate the pipes by yourself, good insulation materials for pipes include:

  • Wraps or roll insulation: Most plumbers, hardware stores and big box retailers provide insulation – commonly fiberglass, foam wraps or pipe sleeves – that you can use to cover or fit around your pipes. They are supplied in different lengths and sizes to fit the needs of your home.
  • Newspaper: In a pinch, newspaper can be used as an insulator. If the weather is cooling down and you aren’t able to buy insulation in time, consider covering uninsulated pipes in this.
  • Towels or rags: If you aren’t able to install insulation and don’t have any newspaper close by, wrapping notably vulnerable pipes with towels or clean rags as a final effort may be just enough to keep the cold air from freezing the pipes.

One other preventative step you can try to keep pipes from becoming frozen is to seal up any cracks that could allow cold air inside your home. Focus on the window frames, which can draw in surprisingly powerful drafts. Not only should this help to stop your pipes from freezing, but it will have the extra 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 under the sinks and other rooms of your home with pipes will allow more warm air from the rest of the room to get to the pipes.
  • Letting water drip. Letting water flow by letting your faucets move even just a little can help thwart frozen pipes.
  • Open interior doors. By opening doors between rooms or hallways, your home can be heated more consistently. This is mostly important if you struggle with a room that is frequently colder or hotter than the rest of the home.
  • Close the garage door. The exception to the open doors recommendation is the garage door, which you should keep closed – namely if your water lines can be found near or under the garage.
  • Keep the heat consistent. Experts suggest setting the thermostat at a uniform temperature and leaving it there, rather than allowing it to get colder at night. Set it no colder than 55 degrees.

How to Stop Pipes from Freezing in a Vacant Home

When you’re inside a house, it’s easier to know when something breaks down. But what added steps can you attempt to keep pipes from freezing in an unused home or vacation home when the damage from a frozen pipe might not be discovered for some time?

As with the main residence, insulating any exposed water lines, opening interior doors in the home and winterizing the vacant home are the basic steps to take.

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

  1. Leave the heat on. Even though you won't always be home, it’s best to leave the heat on – even if you adjust the thermostat down lower than you would if you were there. As with a primary home, experts recommend keeping the temperature at no cooler than 55 degrees.
  2. Shut water off and drain the lines. If you’re going to be gone for several weeks or are winterizing a seasonal cabin or cottage, switching the water off to the house and clearing the water out of the water lines is one way to keep pipes from freezing and bursting open. Remember to drain the water out of any appliances, including the hot water heater, or the toilets. Make sure you get all the water from the system. If you are not sure of how to flush the water from the pipes, or don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, a plumber in Kankakee will be glad to help.