It is December and colder weather is creeping in on us here in Plainfield.  With the cold weather comes a list of new issues to keep an eye out for to keep your home in top shape.

One thing to watch out for is frozen pipes and the water damage that results from pipes bursting.  Illinois American Water has a few tips to preventing this mishap.

6 Things You Need to do to Prevent Frozen Pipes

  1.  Identify “freezing points.” Check for pipes in area that may be colder or more prone to freezing, such as crawl spaces, garages, exterior walls, or unused/unheated rooms.

2.  Locate your home’s main water shut-off valve, if a pipe freezes or bursts you will need to shut off the water in your home completely.

3.  Protect the pipes. Wrapping exposed pipes with insultation helps to keep pipes from freezing in really cold weather.

4.  Remove the garden hose from the outside spigot. When you use the hose and turn off the spigot, water often remains in the coiled and wrapped up hose, as well as water remaining in the pipeline itself.  When the temperatures drop the water freezes, which can cause pipes to crack.  Removing the hose ensures there is no water able to enter the pipeline and prevent a catastrophe.

5.  When the temperatures drop dangerously low, keep cabinet doors under faucets open, exposing pipes to warm air.

6.  Another trick during dangerously cold weather is to let a small amount of water trickle from the faucet overnight, this helps prevent pipes from freezing. If you are worried about wasting water, collect the water from the trickle and use it to water your indoor plants.  According to Illinois American Water, “the cost of a short-term trickle is much less costly than a repair to a burst pipe.”

3 Things to do When Pipes Freeze

  1.   Shut off water to your whole home immediately prior to attempting to thaw frozen pipes. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes and joints, which can add to the problem.

2.  Apply heat to the frozen pipe using a hair dryer, space heater or even hot water. (Avoid kerosene heaters and open flames and never leave space heaters unattended.)

3.  Once thawed, turn on the water slowly and check all pipes for cracks and leaks.

An Ounce of Prevention

Of course, avoiding frozen pipes completely is the best way to avoid costly repairs and damage to your property.  Following the prevention tips will help keep your pipes flowing.

If you are concerned about your home’s pipes and would like to make sure everything is running, call TR Miller and our licensed professionals can give your pipes a once-over and make sure you are ready for the cold winter ahead.

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