It is finally starting to get cold in the Portland area, and this is the time of year where frozen pipes can be a real issues. Our Portland plumbers stay very busy this time of the year repairing frozen pipes, which is good for the bottom line but bad for families and businesses in the area. You may not realize it but it can cost upwards of $10,000 (if replacement is required) to fix frozen pipes. While we would love to meet you, chances are you would rather that meeting not be a five figure affair. Luckily for you, there are several low cost techniques you can implement to keep your pipes from freezing.
Let Your Faucets Drip
The reason that pipes burst is because when water freezes it expands. When the ice inside your plastic or metal pipes expand too much the integrity of the pipe wall is compromised and it cracks. If your faucet has a constant slow drip this makes sure that the water keeps moving which means it doesn’t have the chance to freeze. If you have any exposed pipes inside your home, like under the sink, it is a good idea to open up the cupboard doors so that heat can circulate around the pipes.
Turn Up Your Thermostat
This goes hand in hand with the last recommendation. While turning up your thermostat you increase the inside temperature that you are allowing to circulate around inside pipes. Yes, it will increase your heating bill, but the energy cost will be a fraction of what it would cost if your pipes freeze and you have to call us.
Wrap Exposed Pipes
Obviously, outside pipes that are exposed to the elements are more susceptible to freezing. Taking the time to wrap some insulation or a protective sleeve around your exposed pipes and hose faucets will greatly reduce the chance that they freeze. It may seem like a complicated task, but simply going down to the hardware store will reveal several inexpensive options to accomplish it.
Remove All Outdoor Spigot Fixtures
Now that winter is here, it is a good idea to disconnect all hoses, sprinklers, and other fixtures. These fixtures can contain residual water, that has a bad habit of backing up into yor pipes without you realizing it. The simple fact is, it doesn’t take that much water inside a pipe for it to freeze and burst, so taking all the necessary precautions is well worth your time.
Prevent Drafts by Caulking and Sealing All Holes
As the temperature starts to drop it is always a good idea to take a close look at the walls around your pipes. You should use caulking or some other sealant to cover up any openings or cracks you find. These holes, if not properly sealed, can allow the cold air in around your pipes and lead to potential freezing.
If you need help winterizing your home, our sister company Steve’s Home Improvement is a full service general contractor that can help. However, if it is too late, and you already have frozen pipes you can attempt to thaw them out yourself. However if the worst has happened and if the pipes in your Portland area home or business have burst as a result of freezing then please give Vanguard a call. We are available 24/7 for all your Portland Plumbing Emergencies.
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