When temperatures drop during winter, you run the risk of having your pipes freeze. To prevent this from happening and having a costly insurance claim on your hands, take a proactive approach to home maintenance. Here’s how:

  1. Insulate pipes: Make sure that you insulate exposed pipes, especially those in unheated areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and exterior walls. Use pipe insulatation sleeves or wrapping materials like foam to give your pipes some added protection from the elements of nature.


  1. Seal cracks and openings. Seal any gaps or cracks in walls, floors, or around windows and doors in order to prevent cold air from entering or reaching your pipes.



  1. Keep the temperature inside your home consistent. Maintain a consistent temperature in your home, especially during cold spells. Even if you’re away, don’t shut off the heat entirely. Keep the temperature set to least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.


  1. Open your cabinet doors. Allow warm air to circulate around pipes that are underneath sinks and in cabinets by keeping the cabinet doors open during extremely cold weather.



  1. Maintain a slight drip in your faucets. Allow faucets that are connected to vulnerable pipes to drip slowly. This will help relieve pressure in the pipes, thus reducing the risk of having them freeze. Even a small drip can make a huge difference.


  1. Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Disconnect garden hoses and drain the water from outdoor faucets and irrigation systems before the first freeze.



  1. Insulate outdoor faucets. Use faucet covers or wrap your faucets with towels, foam, or other insulating materials so that they are protected from frigid temperatures.


  1. Heat tape or cables. Install electrical heat tape or cables on vulnerable pipes, especially those located in extremely cold areas. Be sure to follow manufacturing instructions carefully.



  1. Monitor your pipes. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on pipes that are prone to freezing, especially during extremely cold temperatures. If you notice reduced water flow or suspect freezing, take action immediately.


  1. Use a space heater. In areas where pipes are susceptible to freezing, use a portable space heater to provide additional warmth Be cautious with space heaters and follow safety guidelines.



  1. Shut off your exterior water. If you have a shut-ff valve for outdoor faucets, close it and drain the water from the pipes leading to those faucets.


By taking these precautions, you can greatly decrease the chance of having your pipes freeze and experiencing the horrible consequences that come with damaged pipes.