How to Prevent Pipe Freezes


Frozen PipesThere are several ways to prevent the things that cause backflow, including making sure that your pipes do not freeze during harsh winter weather. In most climates — both warm and cold — pipes freeze for a few different reasons: sudden drops in temperature, poor insulation, and household thermostats that are set too low. Both PVC and metal/copper pipes can burst when they freeze. Recovering from frozen pipes is not an easy task. A crack as small as 1/8-inch in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the potential for dangerous mold. To help ensure that your pipes are safe from freezing, here are a few things to do:

  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic, even if you live in a climate where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember: The more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 60°F. When cold weather hits suddenly, keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.

AVS Plumbing & Heating services Howard County and Carroll County in Maryland. To find out more about our plumbing service in Maryland, contact us today at 410-442-2221, or click the button below to schedule a service appointment.


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