During the cold Indiana winter, our team at Indy Renovation gets a fair number of phone calls needing help with frozen pipes—or to repair damages after a frozen pipe burst. While we will gladly run to the rescue in any plumbing emergency, we also want to help Indianapolis residents avoid frozen pipes and the resulting damage. So allow us to pass along a few tips on how to avoid frozen pipes.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

1. Understand how water works.

If you’ve ever made ice cubes the old-fashioned way (by putting water in a tray and then putting it in the freezer), you know that water expands when it freezes. When water expands but it doesn’t have enough space, it can cause damage to whatever is containing it, including your home’s pipes. Understanding how water works and why it’s important to avoid frozen pipes helps set the stage for preventative steps.

2. Get rid of outdoor hoses.

During winter, you don’t need to keep your garden hoses or hoses used for irrigation hooked up. Drain water from the hose lines and then put them away into storage until spring rolls around.

3. Make sure your home is well-insulated.

A cold home equals cold pipes. Often, areas where the pipes are located (attics, basements, crawl spaces, and so on), are not well insulated and therefore the pipes are exposed to the drastic changes in temperature. We recommend getting a professional to assess your home’s insulation and adding some as needed.

4. Confirm whether pipes are insulated.

Exposed pipes (especially those in colder areas of the home) can freeze faster. If you have any pipes that are exposed, consider hiring someone to insulate them.

5. Open cabinet doors.

By opening your cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom, you allow warmer air to reach the pipes in those areas. This step is especially important when it’s extremely cold outside.

6. Let your faucet trickle.

Allowing a small drip or stream of water flow through your kitchen or bathroom faucet might drive you crazy, but it can save you money by keeping water flowing in the pipes rather than freezing. Note that this step is only helpful when outdoor temperatures reach extreme lows.

7. Don’t turn off your heat.

Heating bills can really skyrocket during the months of January and February here in Indiana. However, a high heating bill will almost always cost you less than a frozen or burst pipe and the resulting water damage. So whether you’re going out of town or just want to save on utility costs, never turn off your heat during the winter months.

For more tips on how to prevent frozen pipes, don’t hesitate to contact our professional plumbers here at Indy Renovation at (317) 375-4464. And if by chance you find yourself in a frozen-pipe emergency, then call us anytime 24/7. We’ll send a plumber to your home to assess the situation and help you and your home recover.


sources: http://www.redcross.org/

photo credit: Jimmy_Joe via flickr license

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