The Polar Vortex has been all over the news, and while Virginia has been spared the worst of it, there have certainly been some freezing temperatures here, and there are likely more to come. With freezing temperatures, your home’s pipes may freeze, especially if you have not winterized them in preparation for cold weather. But don’t despair! You can still save your pipes from bursting with these tips:
- TURN ON YOUR FAUCETS
When temperatures drop below freezing, one way to prevent your pipes from bursting is to keep the water flowing through them. The running water will slow down the freezing process. This doesn’t mean you have to waste gallons of water; a slow drip is fine. Aim for about 5 drips per minute.
- WRAP YOUR PIPES
Uh oh…you waited too long and your pipes are already on their way to freezing. If that’s the case, wrapping them with warm towels might be the answer. You can either cover them with towels first and then pour boiling water over them, or you can put on some protective gloves, wet the towels first and wrap them around the pipes. The heat from the towels will loosen up the ice inside the pipes and get the water flowing again.
- OPEN CABINETS
When it’s freezing outside, open any cabinet doors that cover plumbing in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. This way, the heat in the house will circulate more freely and can help prevent exposed pipes from freezing. It won’t help with pipes hidden in walls, ceilings, or under the house, but it can help keep water moving and prevent accessible pipes from bursting.
- DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR HAIRDRYER
A hairdryer might be what saves you when your pipes are freezing. If warm towels aren’t doing the trick, try blowing hot air directly on the pipes. Hopefully this will start to melt the ice and get things moving again.
- SHUT OFF THE WATER IF PIPES ARE FROZEN
If your pipes have already frozen, the best thing you can do is immediately turn off the water at the master shut-off. If you don’t know where the main shut-off is, now is the time to find it so you can be prepared. Finding the Main Water Shut-Off Valve Also be sure to close off any external water sources, such as garden hose hookups. This will keep more water from entering the system and adding to the frozen mess that will eventually make your pipes burst. It will also prevent an overflow of water from flooding your home once the pipes thaw out.
If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!