How to Keep Your Water Pipes from Freezing in the Winter

pipes freezing

Did you know that freezing temperatures can cause water pipes to freeze and burst? Freezing water in a pipe creates a lot of pressure inside of it, and this can lead to flooding!

We have seen many basement floods from busted water pipes, as well as and kitchens and bathroom floors get soaked, from water pipes that froze and then exploded from the pressure that built up.

The best prevention against frozen pipes is to keep them warm enough to stay above the freezing point.

Here are a few questions that our clients asked us about freezing water pipes, that we wanted to share with you, as well as a few tips on how to avoid freezing water pipes.

Q: “We live in Georgia, and freezing isn’t that common, here. We thought our water pipes wouldn’t freeze here. How did this happen?”

A: Homes in warmer climates may be more vulnerable to freezing over, because those water pipes may not be properly insulated against freezing temperatures. Even in Georgia, pipes can certainly freeze and cause a house flood! Older homes may be more prone to have brittle pipes, so when a freeze happens, older pipes may not be able to withstand the freezing temperatures.

Q: “There are a lot of water pipes running through the house, Which ones are at risk of freezing?

A: The only ones of concern are the water supply pipes (not the drain pipes). Water pipes are small, only about 1 inch in diameter or smaller. Drain pipes are 1.5 inches larger and are usually made of plastic. Drain pipes carry waste water and are not pressurized like water pipes, so freezing inside drain pipes is unlikely.

Q: “How can I keep the water pipes from freezing at my home?”

A: Here are a few tips to help avoid freezing water pipes:

1. Keep your heat on inside the home

Keep the Heat on in the home, so that the temperature inside is warm. This will help prevent freezing in the pipes that are close to the house or under the house.

2. Allow the Faucet to Drip

Turn on the faucet just a small amount, so that the faucet drips slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this relieves pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is attributed to the pressure that builds inside, that causes the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to drip releases the pressure from building up.

3. Seal up Cracks and Holes

Seal gaps around holes where pipes run through walls or floors, especially where the hole is letting in cold air. Use caulk or spray foam insulation to fill the gaps. This will help you save money on heating bills, too.

4. Add Extra Insulation

Pipes that are located in area like basements or attics, may need extra insulation to keep from freezing. Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing.