Park Community Credit Union - How to Avoid Frozen Pipes in Winter

It’s that time of year again, when a sudden cold snap can freeze the pipes in your home and cost your thousands of dollars. The plumbing experts at Petri Plumbing & Heating, Inc. want to help you avoid disaster.

“February is a problematic month for many New Yorkers because it hints at spring with some warmer highs, but the temperatures will often still fall below freezing,” said Michael Petri, owner of Petri Plumbing & Heating. “Many homeowners begin to ignore the possibility of frozen pipes, and failing to take a little precautionary action is when damage can occur.”

The Petri Plumbing & Heating team offers five tips to help homeowners prevent pipes from freezing during winter weather.

· Allow faucets to trickle – Monitor the temperature when colder nights are expected, and consider opening faucets just enough to allow for a slow drip when temperatures fall below freezing. Standing water is more susceptible to freezing, and the water flow will help prevent those situations.

· Keep home at least 55 degrees – This is especially important if extended vacancies are planned for any part of winter. Ensuring that the internal temperature of the home is above freezing will help tremendously with any indoor plumbing, especially the plumbing under sinks and vanities.

· Open cabinet doors under sinks and vanities – In order to maximize the ambient heat circulating in the home, leave any cabinets open that otherwise conceal plumbing. This will allow the air to circulate through the cabinets and help warm the pipes.

· Perform an insulation check – Over time, gaps in insulation may develop around the home. Checking attics, crawlspaces, basements and any area that may contain plumbing is recommended to identify any potential trouble areas, and do not forget to check around the foundation as well. All gaps should be sealed and filled in with insulation.

· Insulate the pipes themselves – There are many great solutions for adding insulation directly to exposed pipes in the home. Heat cable, heat tape and pipe sleeves can all be easily purchased and used to add an extra level of protection against freezing temperatures.

If the worst does happen, make sure you have a good plumber on speed dial.

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