Preventing Frozen Pipes in Maine
I thought it would be a good idea to include this subject in our blog considering the deep freeze all of Maine experienced in the past couple of weeks. There are many ways to protect water pipes from freezing in winter weather. Be proactive by taking steps to prevent freezing before cold weather sets in. Drain the water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines in the fall. The installer or manufacturer typically provides directions how to drain water efficiently. Do not put antifreeze in the lines unless specifically directed as antifreeze is dangerous to humans and landscaping.
Homeowners should also check around the house for pipes that are located in unheated areas. Check in the basement, attic, garage, and in cabinets. Both hot and cold pipes should be insulated. Pipe sleeves or heat tape are common materials used to insulate pipes and can be purchased and installed easily on a variety of pipes. When not available, some owners have used newspaper. While commercial insulation is ideal, the newspaper will provide some degree of protection to exposed pipes when needed. However, use this only as a temporary solution.
Throughout The Winter
Homeowners can also keep pipes from freezing by taking preventative action in colder months. Keep the garage doors closed as much as possible, especially if there are any pipes or water supply lines in this area. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can be opened to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to remove any cleaning supplies out of the reach of children or pets when using this tip.
If the power or heat goes out, homeowners can still take steps to protect their pipes. Let cold water drip from the faucets at a very low rate. Running even a very small amount of water through the pipe helps to prevent them from freezing. It’s also a good idea to keep the temperature of the home the same throughout the day and night to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. It’s well worth the extra heating cost in the long run. It’s also a good idea to keep the temperature set no lower than 55 degrees if going away during colder weather.
Cracked and burst pipes are an expensive repair, but a few simple maintenance tips can keep this from being a problem. It’s a good idea to have an idea of where exposed pipes are located and then insulate them well before winter arrives. Use this advice to keep the house safe throughout the colder months. Taking these steps can result in significant savings for homeowners so don’t delay.