Prevent the “Yikes!” Caused by Frozen Pipes

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having a water pipe freeze and burst in your home you know the damage it can cause.  The water can run through your walls and ceiling and into your basement, leading to major repairs or the destruction of cherished items.  Yikes!   It’s not something you would want to wake up to or come home to especially after a long days work.  According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, the damage caused by frozen pipes can surpass $5,000.

Frozen pipes are often located along exterior walls and in the basement, attic and garage

Frozen pipes are often located along exterior walls and in the basement, attic and garage

For peace of mind during these frigid winter temperatures follow some of these simple and low cost steps to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  1. Wrap water pipes with foam pipe insulation and hold the insulation in place with duct tape.
  2. Position ridged foam board insulation between the water pipes and the wall to protect the pipes from freezing temperatures.
  3. Secure thermostatic heating tape around the pipes with duct tape.  The heat tape will help maintain a constant pipe temperature.
  4. Fill any gap between the brick and outside faucet pipe with an insulating foam sealant.
  5. Turn off the water supply to your outside faucet and place an insulated cover over it.
  6. If you lost power, let the water run in your faucet no faster than a slow constant drip.
  7. Open cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathrooms to allow warmer air to circulate around faucet pipes.
  8. If you need supplemental heat you can add a space heater to a room where pipes may be at risk (monitor the heater periodically).

Following these simple steps can save you money, time and grief this winter.

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