Winterization of Pipes

Monday, August 19, 2019

It’s the second month of the year and we are still deep within the winter weather. January has been one of the coldest months in the Northern VA area! There were a few days in unseasonably hot temperatures, but then back down they went.

What does that mean for us? Our pipes are confused! The chances of your pipes freezing when the temperatures go down, to 19 degrees for example, is high, especially if you have not winterized them.

The good news is, it’s not too late to winterize them and you should as we have at least another month or two of winter weather ahead.

Here are some things you can do to decrease the chances of your pipes freezing.

Pipe Insulation

This is the first line of defense for your pipes. At Marines Plumbing, we will wrap your pipes in a thick layer of insulation to ensure they don’t freeze. We focus on pipes located in unheated areas as they are the most susceptible to freezing.

Make sure to let us know if you have any pipes that froze or have been recently repaired so we can take extra precautions.

External Faucets

Make sure to disconnect all of your outdoor / garden hoses. In addition, turn of the external faucets and drain any remaining water. Some houses do not have a separate shut-off for external faucets, but if yours does, make sure to turn it off.

Interior Faucets

On cold nights where the temperatures are expected to reach below freezing, turn on a faucet that lies against an exterior wall. It just needs to be dripping, don’t leave it on full blast. This steady drip will eliminate pressure that builds up in the pipes.

Cabinets

Another way to prevent frozen pipes is to increase the heat! Opening the sink cabinets for faucets on external walls, enables heat to more easily reach the sink pipes, thus decreasing their chances of freezing.

Seal Spaces

One of the general things to do before cold weather (or even year-round) is make sure all cracks, gaps, and holes are sealed. This includes exterior cracks on the foundation or walls. Inside, make sure that your doors and windows are not cracked or missing insulation. Any place where cold air can get inside should be patched and fixed. Reducing the overall ability for cold air to make its way inside or to your pipes drastically decreases the chances of your pipes freezing.

If you live in the Northern VA area and have taken all these precautions and your pipes still end up freezing, call Marines Pluming right away. We will come out, evaluate the damage, and make any repairs necessary to ensure you don’t experience any additional pipe issues. Stay safe in this chilly winter weather!

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