In Maryland’s temperate climate, the cold, while not as frigid as northern states, often reaches freezing temperatures. When this happens, the risk for damaged water pipes increases, particularly if your house does not have proper preventative measures. Pipes burst because of the water pressure that an ice blockage creates. To help keep the possibility of flooding and mold growth away, here are five ways to prevent frozen pipes.
Ultimately, you want to keep water pipes in above-freezing conditions around the clock. Experts recommend keeping your house above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping your house temperature steady night and day. Sometimes, it may be convenient to turn off the heat for a little while to save on energy and use only when you need it. However, your water pipes need heat too, especially when the weather is strikingly cold.
Water pipes most at risk for freezing are ones that are outdoors or in less insulated places like attics and basements. Keeping the temperature at a constant, warm level will not matter if the heat escapes through cracks in the walls. Adding extra insulation to the places where they need it, and sealing gaps and holes between the pipes and the walls or ceiling can help keep the cold air out. You can also add pipe sleeves through different means, whether store-bought or DIY. Insulating sleeves help keep the pipe’s temperature the same as the water within it, although it does not add heat.
3. Drain the Pipes
Sometimes, it can be helpful to let the faucet run a bit to alleviate the pipes’ water pressure. The pressure is what causes the bursting after all, so slightly opening the tap can help if you are concerned about your pipes. To help prevent frozen pipes even more, set the water to warm.
4. Heat Tape
Heat tape is a useful product in insulating and heating your pipes. For isolated, high-risk areas that are more accessible, heat tape can electrically warm the pipe, something that insulation alone cannot do. Some kinds automatically turn their heat on and off, while other models must plug into an outlet to give heat. Be careful to follow instructions so to avoid a fire or other hazards.
Cabinets and rooms containing water pipes can be cold and lonely places. Let the heat of your house spread to your water pipes by opening all doors. Open cabinet doors and entryways to your basement or attic. Besides these, it is healthy to keep all the doors in your house open for quality airflow.
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