Tips to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing in Colorado

freezing pipesTemperature drops can sneak up on unsuspecting homeowners in Colorado, and when they do, the results can be disastrous. Low temps can freeze the water in your pipes solid, causing burst pipes and extensive plumbing damage as the water expands and turns into ice. If your home isn’t properly prepared, you may be susceptible to frozen pipes, which could mean repair bills in the neighborhood of thousands of dollars and interrupted water service for up to weeks or months at a time.

Fortunately, there’s still time to act if you haven’t prepared your home for the threat of freezing pipes. At Rogers & Sons, we’ve seen our fair share of frozen pipe damage, and we’ve gathered up a few of our favorite tips and tricks to help keep your pipes from freezing this winter. Read on to find out how you can prevent your pipes from freezing, and prevent major repairs come springtime.

Give Your Pipes Access to Warmer Air

This one is actually more simple than it sounds. Pipes given access to warmer air are much better equipped to keep the water inside them above freezing, but you don’t need to break out the space heater in your garage or basement to do so. Keeping your pipes warm can be as simple as opening your cabinets or leaving your door to the garage or basement open, as this will allow the warm and heated air from the rest of your home to passively warm up your pipes, too.

Your pipes don’t need to be exposed for this trick to work, either. Water pipes are often under the floor in the garage or basement, and a warmer floor will contribute to warmer pipes in those cases. Pipes running through kitchens and bathrooms will often have extensions running through or under cabinets too, so keeping cabinets open can help keep those stretches of pipe warm as well.

Insulate Your Pipes

While insulated pipes are always a smart call, not every home has adequate insulation on its pipes. While the best solution would be to insulate your pipes before winter rolls in, a full piping insulation install obviously isn’t a quick or short-term solution.

In a pinch, and especially if you know of patches of exposed pipe on your property, you may be able to seal it off from the elements using caulk. Buy some caulk and an applicator from your local hardware store, and apply it to that exposed patch of pipe — especially if that exposed patch is outdoors. Outdoor exposed pipe is a big risk factor for frozen pipes, keeping your pipes insulated from the cold of the outdoors is very important in keeping your pipes from freezing with temperatures below 0°.

Don’t Cut Back on Heating During Cold Snaps

It can be tempting to turn down the thermostat during the winter months to save on energy, but this can be risky for the pipes in your home. While it might save you on your energy bill, a colder home means colder pipes — especially in areas like the garage or basement, as alluded to above.

A temperature drop of even a few degrees can increase your risk for frozen pipes in those rooms, so keeping your thermostat at a warmer, more comfortable temperature can act as an investment in the health of your plumbing. This is especially true for those leaving their home alone for vacations or other purposes.

Again, it can be tempting to shut off your heating seeing as no one will be home, but doing so may be putting your pipes at huge risk. Even if you’re away, don’t let your home’s temperature fall below the high 50s or low 60s.

During Especially Cold Weather, Keep Your Water Flowing

Sudden bursts of cold weather are the biggest threats when it comes to freezing pipes. When the temperature outside doesn’t get above 0° all day, or when it suddenly drops below 0° that’s when we recommend you break out all the stops.

Since flowing water doesn’t freeze as easily, keeping it moving can help prevent freezing pipes. Turn on one or more faucets in your home, and keep them at a slow drip during cold snaps. Even this small movement of water can help mitigate freezes, without being too heavy on your water bill.