When it comes to owning a home, the bills and maintenance never end. Somethings are preventable and some might happen no matter what. Trying to prevent a pipe from bursting is something that can be done easily, but it may not always help. Here are someways keep pipes from freezing in the first place before they get out of hand:
Keep the heat on during the winter months, even if you are not home. If you are a renter, it may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utility bills. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.
Leave the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink open so that the room air can warm the pipes or place a lamp with a 60-watt bulb in the potential problem area to warm the walls and pipes. Make sure there are no combustible materials near the bulb.
If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can open the faucet fed by that pipe just a bit so the faucet drips slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this relieves pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus keep the pipe from bursting. If the faucet is served by both hot and cold water pipes, open both faucet taps slightly, or set a single-handle faucet (such as a kitchen faucet) to warm.
With rigid foam insulation, close and seal all foundation vents that are near water pipes. Insulate the foundation walls and the ends of the floor joists with rigid foam insulation.
Consider wrapping problem pipes with UL approved heat tape that has a built-in thermostat to prevent overheating. Follow the instructions that come with heat tape carefully to keep from causing a fire hazard.
If the water pipes are freezing inside the exterior wall, cut an opening in the wall to expose the pipes to the home’s warm air. Place fiberglass insulation behind the pipes, between the pipes and the home’s exterior wall. The hole in the wall can be covered later with a hinged door or a panel that can be removed during cold spells.
Seal gaps around holes where pipes run through walls or floors, especially where the hole is letting in cold air. Use caulk or spray foam insulation (such as Great Stuff) to fill the gaps.
If it so happens that your Pipe Bursts, let your friends at Blue River Restoration be the ones to help you out and get your home back in order.