Freezing temperatures can cause major problems for your plumbing system, if preventative measures are not in place. When water freezes inside pipes, it expands and puts pressure on their walls. This pressure can lead to cracks or even bursting, causing extensive damage and flooding once the ice thaws. Here are our recommendations to prepare the plumbing in your home for freezing weather in Indianapolis.
Exposed pipes are highly susceptible to freezing. These include outdoor faucets, sprinkler lines, and any plumbing that runs through unheated spaces like basements, crawl spaces, or attics. Start by identifying these exposed pipes and insulate them using pipe insulation sleeves or wrapping them with heat tape.
Foundation cracks Small cracks in your home's foundation can allow cold air to seep in and reach your plumbing system. Carefully inspect both the interior and exterior foundation walls for any visible cracks or gaps. Seal them using an appropriate waterproof sealant or caulk to prevent drafts and maintain a consistent temperature.
Crawl spaces and attics are notorious for poor insulation and ventilation, making them prime candidates for frozen pipes. Ensure these areas are adequately insulated by installing insulation batts or rolls, paying special attention to the exposed plumbing within them.
If your garage is attached to the house, ensure there are no gaps around doors or windows that could let cold air in. Additionally, if you have plumbing fixtures in your garage, such as a utility sink or washing machine, insulate the pipes leading to those fixtures.
Set thermostat temperature - During freezing weather conditions, it's essential to keep your thermostat set at a consistent temperature day and night. Aim for a minimum of 55°F (13°C) even when you're not actively using certain areas of your home.
Open cabinet doors - If you have cabinets beneath sinks along exterior walls, open the doors to allow warm air from your home's heating system to circulate around the pipes. This simple trick can make a significant difference in preventing freezing.
Keep your garage doors closed as much as possible - This helps to maintain a warmer temperature inside and minimize exposure to freezing outdoor air.
In extreme cold weather conditions, even the best insulation may not guarantee absolute protection against frozen pipes. In such cases, taking extra precautions can make all the difference.
Drip facuets - When temperatures drop below freezing and you're concerned about pipes potentially freezing, allowing faucets to drip slightly can relieve pressure within the plumbing system. Even a small trickle of water flowing through the pipes can prevent them from freezing solid.
Locate your water shut-off - In situations where you'll be away from home for an extended period during frigid weather, it's advisable to shut off the main water supply and drain your pipes. This precautionary measure ensures there's no water left sitting in the system that could freeze while you're away.
Call the pros at L.D. Smith Plumbing to address any plumbing needs in your home - from preventataive to emergencies. Request an appointment today.
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