You can prevent burst pipes by taking a few practical steps around your home. A burst pipe poses a high risk of damage to your house. You don’t have to live in blizzard territory to experience this expensive disaster, either. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to drastically cut the risk of frozen pipes without eating up much of your time.
1. Disconnect and drain garden hoses
You don’t need a do-it-yourself attitude to take care of this chore. Burst spigots present a big problem every winter. They’re easily prevented by simply disconnecting the garden hoses around your house. Drain them out and store them safely for spring. As to the spigots themselves, make sure that they’re also drained. If there’s no water in the pipes, then there’s no chance those pipes will burst. Technically, this could take a while; it really depends on how many garden hoses you have. You can prevent burst pipes around spigots for less than five minutes each.
2. Thermostatically controlled heating tape
Interior, exposed pipes are at risk of freezing if they aren’t in a heated portion of the house. Attics, cellars, and crawl spaces need to be watched for signs of too chilly pipes. If you know that you have a problem pipe, heating tape is a quick fix. Find the length that works for your needs (typically in the range of $50 to $200) and plug it in. Then you can set the thermostat and leave your pipe toasty. This is great for a problem that you’re not going to get around to permanently fixing until spring. You don’t have to stay constantly on top of it; the thermostat takes care of that.
3. Spray on insulation
You can apply spray on foam insulation quickly and easily. Make sure you protect everything that you don’t want to insulate. The spray application is quick and easy. Follow the instructions on your particular brand to get the best results. This is a great help for pipes that are difficult frequently to check on.
4. Set your thermostat even while you’re away
By far the easiest way to prevent burst pipes is to keep your thermostat running at a low level even while you’re gone. Many people leave their home for a few weeks around the holiday season. Many also use it as an opportunity to save on heating costs by simply turning off their thermostat. Even if you won’t be around, a standing thermostat temperature of around 55 degrees will ensure that your pipes stay intact even in a cold snap.
Taking a few simple steps to protect your pipes can prevent burst pipes from occurring. Insulating exposed pipes and using a heating tape will cut down on interior burst pipes. For best results, leave your thermostat running even when you’re not home. Of course, the easiest way to prevent burst pipes is to wrangle those garden hoses before the first frost!