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How to Prevent Exterior Pipes from Freezing and Bursting

Winter weather doesn’t just pose risks for highway crashes and slip-and-fall accidents. It can also create serious problems for homeowners in terms of pipes and plumbing issues. Exposed exterior plumbing can be especially at risk in the cold winter months. Fortunately, there are some preventative measures that you can take to protect your pipes and prevent costly water damage and flooding.

Here are some ways that you can keep your pipes in garage, attic, and exteriors of your home from freezing and potentially bursting. We’ll also provide some tips for finding New York plumbing supply retailers near you.

The Problem with Frozen Pipes

When water freezes, it naturally expands, which puts excess pressure on the pipes containing it. Regardless of how strong your pipes are, they are subject to breaking with enough water pressure.

When a pipe bursts, it can cause your home to become flooded and create costly water damage that is difficult and time-consuming to clean up. Simple actions, like allowing cold water to drip from a faucet that feeds an exposed pipe can help prevent it from freezing. Homeowners often don’t even know that they have a burst pipe until the outside temperatures start to rise and the ice contained in the pipe begins to melt and leak into the house.

Attic Pipe Protection

Since attics tend to fluctuate in temperature more than other parts of the home, it’s important to insulate your hot and cold water pipes in the attic. This is also important to do in your basement, crawl space, and exterior walls if they are accessible. You can use snap-on foam insulation, but just make sure that it fits tightly without leaving any gaps. Duct tape can connect the foam pieces around the joints and ensure that the pipes are covered thoroughly.

Garage Pipe Protection

To start, it’s a smart idea to keep your garage closed during cold weather to protect your pipes. This will help keep your pipes warmer than they would be with the door wide open.

Plumbing in unheated areas can also be protected with foam pipe insulation, which is easy to install and inexpensive. For severely cold weather, you may want to consider using thermostatically controlled heat tape, which is more expensive but conveniently turns on when a minimum temperature is reached.

Protection for Exterior Pipes

Pipes that run along exterior walls of a home are also at a greater risk of freezing and bursting. There are specific products available, such as pipe sleeves, heat tape, and heat cables that can help you protect exposed water pipes.

If you have exterior faucets around the foundation of your home, you may also want to insulate these faucets with foam covers. You can install exterior faucets that cut water off from the interior of the foundation walls for extra protection.

An easy way to determine if you have frozen pipes is to flush the toilet or turn on a faucet to see if water comes out. If it does not, you may have an ice blockage and should turn off your water source right away. For future protection, you may want to reconsider moving exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing.

Central Plumbing Specialties for Your New York Plumbing Supply Needs

If you’ve been searching for “plumbing supply store near me” and still aren’t sure where to shop, look no further than Central Plumbing Specialties. We are your local experts in New York plumbing supply needs, and we have five decorative plumbing fixture and accessory showrooms in NYC, Yonkers, and Rockland County.

Visit us today to equip your home with the plumbing fixtures and accessories your home needs to stay safe and working smoothly all throughout the year.

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