How to Keep Outside Pipes from Freezing

One of the most important things homeowners can do during the colder months of the year is to prevent outside pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can burst, damaging your home’s internal systems as well as creating an expensive mess to clean up. Luckily, there are some simple steps to take to keep this from happening.

Insulate the Pipes

To insulate your outdoor pipes, wrap them securely in polyethylene pipe insulation and duct tape. This is recommended for the warmer months before there is a chance of freezing water. You can tell if a pipe has water in it by putting your ear up to it and listening carefully. You should be able to hear water rushing through it. You can also tap it with a screwdriver. If the sound is hollow, it probably doesn’t have water inside. Inspect the insulation throughout the winter to make sure it is still secure.

Use Water and Warmth to Combat Freezing Temps

One of the oldest tricks in the book is to leave your furnace on at a reasonable temperature- even if you plan to be away from your home for any extended amount of time. Keeping your home heated will keep the walls warm, and everything inside the walls at a comfortable temperature. If there is concern about an upcoming deep freeze, keep all of your faucets dripping slightly and open the cabinets to expose the piping beneath the sinks. By taking this small step, you’ll introduce warm air circulation, keeping water flowing through your pipes.

Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you should find yourself with a frozen pipe, or one that is about to freeze, take a warm (not hot) hairdryer or heating pad and gently apply warmth to the pipe. Moving a hair dryer back and forth for about 10-20 minutes should get the water flowing again. Similarly, wrapping a heating pad around an accessible pipe can have the same effect. Never leave a heating pad unattended.

Call for Help

When the pipes freeze and none of these home remedies work, it’s time to bring in a trusted professional. The faster you can get help, the better. The team at Baylor can be at your home or business quickly and get to work defrosting your pipes. If you’re dealing with the after effects of a freeze, we are here to help. Give us a call today at (812) 425-8435.

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