Winterizing my home to avoid frozen pipes

Preparing For the Cold


November 2021

Freezing pipes are one of the biggest threats to homeowners.  A study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) found a burst pipe can cost a homeowner more than $5,000 after the deductible is paid, and that frozen pipes are one of the leading causes of property damage. 

Avoid the headaches and clean up associated with a burst pipe by taking steps now to reduce the risk. Protecting pipes against freezing is one of the most affordable things you can do and will pay major dividends. 

  1. If a faucet has a supply pipe running along an outside wall, let it drip. You do not need a strong stream, just enough to keep the water flowing. Moving water freezes slower than standing water in a pipe.
  2. Do not turn your heat down during windy cold days. The cooling down period allows the cold to penetrate walls before it comes into your house. The pipes are then exposed to this cold air. Hot water heat is more prone to freezing due to the hot water in the heating lines. Hot water will freeze faster than cold or room temperature water.
  3. Leave cabinet doors under sinks that face outside walls open. These areas are not generally heated but do receive the cold air coming in through walls. This will help prevent frozen water supply and waste piping.
  4. Insulate walls where piping runs. Opening walls and checking is not always practical. However checking for insulation when walls are open for repairs or remodeling is a great idea.
  5. Keep garage doors closed when not going in or out. The cold air will freeze pipes in garage walls. These walls are not always insulated as well as outside walls.
  6. Shut off water to outside faucets.  

Following these simple steps shall minimize the risk of frozen pipes and the subsequent damages.

Best regards,

Russ H Negaard


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