Thursday, January 9, 2014

Avoiding frozen pipes

This recent run of freezing weather will no doubt lead to a steep heating bill. But if you’re not careful, the extreme cold also can do some serious damage to your property.  Low temperatures bring about a variety of risks for property owners, including frozen pipes.  Here are some tips for avoiding a costly headache:

• Look for cold spots in your home near outside walls, roofs or windows. If there are pipes nearby, you might want to visit your local hardware store to ask about ways to insulate them. If the pipes get cold enough, the water inside will freeze. When water freezes, it expands, building up pressure and bursting pipes.

• Think about leaving cabinet or closet doors open during extreme cold if it will help to circulate heat around pipes and keep them warm.

• Leaving faucets running at a slow trickle will allow water to continue flowing through your pipe system, preventing freezing. This can be especially helpful if a faucet has pipes close to an outside wall.

• Inspect any pipes that run to water spigots outside your house. If you still have a hose connected to it, disconnect it immediately. The water freezing in that hose will send cold and pressure back into the pipes inside your home.

• You also might want to think about insulating the end of the hose spigot. Hardware stores sell styrofoam attachments to cover the open end of the spigot, but wrapping it with a cloth may also do the same trick.

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