How to Minimize Frozen Outdoor Pipes Over the Winter
Take a walk around the exterior of your home. Do you have spigots present that provide a source of water outside for the home? What you may not realize is that they create a real danger to the interior of your home, too. While home insurance may cover burst pipes, minimizing the damage risk is essential. There are a few things you can do to ensure your outdoor pipes do not freeze over the winter months. Here is where to start.
Locate All Pipes and Lines Outside
You may have a number of different ways to access water outside of the home. Your garage may have a water spigot. Some garages also have faucets in sinks for workshop areas. You may also have spigots that come off the home around the exterior of the property. These can help you water the lawn, for example.
Check all areas of the house for these spigots. If you have a garden, shed, or other outbuilding, check these locations for water access points as well.
How to Minimize Freezing Pipes
Once you know where all the water access points are, consider a few steps for minimizing exposure. Here are a few tips to help you.
- When possible, turn off the water source to those areas. Inside your home, there may be a water line running in your basement ceiling out to these areas. Locate the shut-off valve. Use it to turn off the water access to those pipes.
- If not possible, ensure there is absolutely no leak in these pipes. If so, replace the nozzle and handles. The key is to ensure no water can get out of these pipes.
- Do what you can to prevent water from freezing in the lines. In the event of freezes, many professionals recommend that you let the faucets drip. Moving water is harder to freeze. Therefore, if it moves through the pipe, it reduces the risk of expansion and bursts.
- Remove all hoses. You do not want to allow water to remain in the hose. Disconnect them, wrap them up, and store them.
- Consider wrapping exposed pipes to increase insulation.
Taking these steps minimizes the financial loss you could have if the water froze in the pipes. Because water expands, it can cause the pipe itself to burst. This can create a flow of water into your home. Home insurance may cover damage caused by frozen pipes. However, these policies have limits. And, they may not apply if there is normal wear and tear to the pipes that causes the damage.