Earlier this month, we first heard about the “polar vortex,” which brought extreme cold and snow to large swaths of the country. With a second round of polar air expected from the vortex later in January, it’s a good time to make sure your home is ready to withstand the bitterly cold temperatures.
While we know to bundle ourselves up to keep warm, many people forget to make sure their pipes stay warm as well. A pipe that bursts can cause significant damage, so homeowners should pay special attention to pipes that have frozen in the past or that are near exterior walls.
Here are some tips to help avoid property damage from frozen pipes:
- Remove hoses from outside yard faucets to allow for proper drainage. If you have a sprinkler system, drain all outdoor pipes and turn off the water supply to the system.
- Insulate areas where vulnerable pipes are located, or use pipe wrappings embedded with electrical coils that provide an outside source of heat.
- Open the doors to the cabinets under your kitchen and bathroom sinks so heat from the room will help warm the pipes.
- Running water doesn’t freeze very readily. During severe cold weather, keep a stream of water trickling out of faucets or spouts that are attached to vulnerable pipes.