Low temperatures can cause plumbing pipes to freeze and burst, leaving you with unexpected expenses and a huge mess. Your BBB tells you what you need to know in order to avoid this kind of situation:
Not all pipes are prone to freezing. While the plumbing inside the house will most likely be fine in case of low temperatures, you really need to pay attention to exposed pipes located in unheated areas of your house, pipes hidden in your exterior walls and any kind of outdoor plumbing. These are the culprits!
A frozen garden hose can cause serious damage to your pipes. What happens is: the water in the hose freezes and expands to the entire plumbing system! Here’s what you need to do: as soon as autumn is over, drain and disconnect all your garden hoses, then add a faucet insulator- it’s inexpensive and extremely helpful!
We can’t stress this enough! If you have pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as the attic, the crawl space or the garage, use pipe insulation- it’s inexpensive, yet it can save you a ton of money. If you live in areas with severe weather conditions, you should invest in thermostatically controlled heat tape (which can cost a few hundred dollars)—wrap it around your pipes and it will start working as soon as temperatures drop below a certain point.
This is quite an expense! If you notice mold and water damage in your walls, it’s probably because the insulation wasn’t properly installed. If that is the case, you will need to open the wall and re-insulate it. In case of extreme situations, your pipe will have to be re-routed, which can cost a pretty penny.
If you’re heading south this winter, away from the cold, there are a few things you need to do first:
- Set your furnace temperature at 55 degrees or higher.
- Shut off the main water supply, then open all faucets and flush the toilet to completely drain the system.
- Have a plumber drain your hot water heater.
However, if your pipes have frozen over the past couple of nights and you need help, here is a list of accredited plumbing companies.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville!