Every year, every winter, thousands of Chicago-area homes and businesses fall victim to the same disaster: frozen pipes bursting, sending water flooding through the building. This causes a ton of property damage, and can ruin your holiday season. Preventing frozen pipes needs to be your top priority this winter.
In this blog, we’ll run through the best ways to prevent your pipes from freezing, both before winter and during it. To schedule a furnace tune-up or plumbing services with King, contact us online.
Preventing frozen pipes
Pipes freeze when the water within them is exposed to consistent, freezing temperatures for a sustained period of time. The most common cause of frozen pipes is your furnace breaking down in the middle of the night, causing the temperatures in your home to plummet.
Our first recommendation? Schedule a furnace tune-up in the fall with King.
With that out of the way, here are some other tips for protecting your pipes from the deep freeze.
Preventing frozen pipes before winter starts
- Insulate your home properly by insulating unprotected pipes. Try not to leave any gaps during the process. If it’s unavoidable, use pipe sleeves. Seal the joints and the slits with tape if you have to.
- Check your basement, attic, and crawlspaces for cracks or air leaks, and seal any you find. (This will also help make your home more energy-efficient!)
- Have a contractor install heat cables that can be controlled with a thermostat. Follow the instructions given in the manual to ensure you install the ones meant for your pipes correctly. At the end of the season, unplug the cables to preserve energy.
- Replace single-pane windows with storm windows or ones that are more energy-efficient.
- Contact the team at King for a FREE plumbing inspection to examine your plumbing beforehand. We’ll tell you what can be done to ensure your pipes do not freeze during the chilly weather.
Preventing frozen pipes during the winter
When the coldest nights of the year arrive and the blizzard hovers over Chicago, follow these tips to further protect your home’s pipes:
- Cut off the water supply to faucets and plumbing outside your home by closing the valves.
- Make sure your garage doors are closed at all times to protect the pipes located there from the cold.
- Keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open sometimes to allow warm air to circulate inside. The warmth will help keep the pipes from freezing over.
- Allow pipes that are susceptible to the cold drip a little. This includes both hot and cold water pipes. This subtle water movement—even at the pace of a drip—makes it harder for the water to freeze.
Here are some more tips from The Chicago Tribune on how to avoid frozen pipes.
Here are long-term solutions for protecting your pipes
These probably aren’t things you’ll be able to do in the middle of a blizzard, and they’re above-and-beyond the DIY tips shared above. But, they’re a good idea for the Chicago homeowner who is interested in protecting their pipes, above all else.
Install fiberglass insulation
Installing fiberglass insulation is one of the best ways to ensure those pipes remain warm during the winter. Professional plumbers know how to install these without damaging your property. This includes examining the insulation requirements in your home’s crawl spaces, attic, basement, and other places that are hard to reach.
With this process, pipes that do not have adequate insulation will be insulated to keep them from freezing over once the cold weather hits.
Call King for plumbing repair and more advice on avoiding frozen pipes
As a company that provides both heating and plumbing services to the Chicago metro, King knows a thing or two about preventing frozen pipes. After all, we’ve been serving you for more than 45 years!
To schedule your furnace tune-up, your free plumbing inspection, or just talk through the state of your home’s pipes, contact us online.