Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Photo Credit: American Red Cross

If you own your own home, there are some things you should learn about so you can take of situations as they come up.

Things like how to unplug your toilet or a drain in your home can come in very handy even if you don't own your own home, but if you're renting, the landlord is responsible for those things meaning you don't really have to worry about fixing them if they break. However, if you live in your own home, you'll want to learn how to not only fix, but to prevent certain things from happening, so you don't have to fix them or pay to have them fixed. Your pipes are one of those things. As you may know, if you live in a colder climate, water can freeze up in your pipes when the temperatures drop. As the water freezes, it also expands meaning that your pipes could potentially burst if they aren't properly looked after. Pipes that break are the ones that are able to get that cold because they might be outdoors such as outdoor hose bibs and underwater sprinkler systems. Also, the pipes in unheated areas of your home like the attic, garage, kitchen cabinets, and basement areas can also be susceptible to freezing up and breaking.

So you need to do some of these diy simple like hacks before the cold weather arrives to prevent them from freezing up in the first place. These diy simple life hacks are very easy to do, and it's a great way to get familiar with the plumbing in your own home, just in case, there is something that happens. So the first of the diy prevention tips from the American Red Cross website is to make sure you drain the water from your swimming pool if you have one before the cold weather comes. In the fall time would be the best idea so that you're ahead of the game. You'll also want to drain your water sprinkler lines and any hose lines for your yard or garden. Just follow the manufacturer's directions as you do this. One thing you should also keep in mind is to not pour antifreeze in anything unless it says to do so in the manufacturer's guidelines. Plus, antifreeze is bad for the environment and poisonous to humans animals and plants. You should also take off any hoses and drain them out too. Then, you'll also want to close your inside valves that carry the water to the outside of your home and open the outside hose openings and let any water drain out. Keeping the outside valve open will also allow the pipe to expand without cracking or breaking.

Another great preventative tip is to add more insulation to those unheated areas of your home; the attic, basement or crawl space. It will help to protect the pipes from freezing. Also do this in your garage, under your kitchen sink, bathroom sink and anywhere else. You can also buy certain products like a pipe sleeve that will protect your pipes from the cold. There's also heat tape and heat cables. A great diy simple life hack is to use newspaper which can give your pipes a bit of insulation. But this is only for areas that don't experience temperatures below zero. It's also important to keep the temperature in your home consistent, which means don't turn it down at night or when you go away for a vacation. This can prevent your pipes from freezing, so while the cost may be a bit higher, you are being proactive by preventing a potential major catastrophe. If your pipes are already frozen The American Red Cross also has some simple life hacks to make our lives easier for that too so make sure you read more over on their website.***

Learn MORE at American Red Cross

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