How to be proactive and keep your water pipes from freezing

The months of winter come with ridiculously low temperatures in some areas and when this temperature drops below the freezing point of water, it could become a house crisis for homeowners. Exposed water pipes are liable to freeze in cold nights of winter and this can include water flow, or worse, damage the pipe itself.

Frozen water pipes are insidious. They appear normal in the daylight but freeze at night when the temperature is cold. To prevent any unintended consequences, it is important to find out which water pipe is vulnerable to freezing and how to prevent it from happening. A qualified home inspector will be able to locate and tell you exactly which pipes need to be taken care of the most. So if you’re having trouble with frozen water pipes, the best strategy is to contact a professional.

Which pipes should I be worried about?

Any water pipe that is partially or completely exposed to the cold air is a pipe you should be worrying about. Pipes near the crawl space or the basement suffer from abnormally cold temperatures and are the most likely to freeze over in the winters.

Pipes with poor or damaged insulation, even if they are not exposed to the air, are at a risk of freezing. Therefore to completely rule out the chances of a pipe freezing at your home and creating a water crisis, it’s a good idea to investigate all pipes.

Preventing water pipes from freezing

Pipes that are at a risk of freezing need extra insulation or protection. An old hack is to install a light bulb or create an unvented heated crawl space. The heat from the bulb is enough to keep the pipe from freezing and as a bonus it will keep the floor above the pipes warm. However, installing bulbs is not the safest of methods and doesn’t always come cheap.

Call your local Des Moines home inspector for a thorough inspection of your water pipes and for the best advice to prevent them from freezing!

See Friday’s post here.


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