Sadly I am not referring to the Disney movie of the same title…
Each winter we hear news reports of homes that have had the pipes freeze in the severe cold weather we experience. Everyone seems to be forecasting for us to have a colder than average winter this year, so I thought I would touch on this early enough for preventive measures to be taken.
Generally when pipes freeze it is because they either run through an uninsulated area, such as a garage, crawl space or an attic, or are located on exterior walls of the house without adequate insulation between them and the wall. Another unexpected, but common cause can be an outside hose that is left connected to an outside faucet. When it freezes it puts pressure on the interior pipes, and can cause them to break, so always disconnect your garden hose at the end of the season. Also, always turn off your outside faucets and drain the last of the water out of the spigot.
If your water pipes run through an uninsulated or poorly insulated area, you can purchase foam wrap for the pipes. If you are concerned that the pipes will be exposed to the full cold, you can also wrap the pipes with a heat tape that will maintain a minimum temperature to prevent them freezing.
For pipes running in exterior walls, the only effective way to correct the problem is to open up the walls and improve the insulation. On very cold walls, you may actually need to reroute the pipes to a less exposed location.
It may seem like a lot of work to do on the chance that the pipes may freeze, but broken pipes will lead to larger repair bills down the road, including the potential for mold removal.
If you are buying an older home, be sure to have your home inspector check where the water feed is in the house. It is always better to know before winter strikes whether you may have a problem…
Also remember if you have a home with a lawn sprinkler system, have the water blown from the system at the end of the season.
As always, one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professionals will be happy to speak with you about this and other home ownership concerns.
At Coldwell Banker Community Professionals, we don’t strive to be the biggest, we strive to be the best!