Snow-covered winter weather offers fun activities like sledding down a nearby hill or snowball fights in the back yard. That being said, winter weather can be tough on your home. Extremely cold conditions can cause the water lines in your home to freeze and burst, which could result in severe water damage and lasting negative effects.

If your pipes are frozen, you should hire a plumber in Moline to handle the problem. That being said, there’s a lot you can perform on your own to prevent this from happening – and even minor prevention can go a long way.

What Pipes Are at a Higher Chance of Freezing

The pipes at the largest risk of freezing are uncovered water lines. Prevalent locations for uninsulated pipes are in attic crawlspaces, near exterior walls, in the basement or even running beneath a modular home. Water lines that are not correctly insulated are at the highest risk.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing in Your Home

Thoroughly insulating exposed water lines is a solid first step to keeping your pipes ice free. You’ll generally find lots of these materials from your local plumbing company, and might also already have some somewhere in your home.

Be careful not to wrap up other flammable insulation materials where they might light on fire. If you don’t feel comfortable insulating the pipes yourself, contact your local plumbing services professional in Moline to get the job done right.

If you do choose to insulate the pipes by yourself, good insulation materials for pipes are:

  • Wraps or roll insulation: Lots of plumbers, hardware stores and large retailers sell insulation – usually fiberglass, foam wraps or pipe sleeves – that you can use to wrap or fit around your pipes. They are supplied in different lengths and sizes to fit the needs of your home.
  • Newspaper: To a decent degree, newspaper can be used for insulation. If the weather is going to get cold and you aren’t able to add insulation soon enough, consider covering uninsulated pipes in this.
  • Towels or rags: If you don't have the chance to install insulation and don’t have any newspaper close by, wrapping particularly vulnerable pipes with towels or clean rags as a final effort can be just enough to keep the cold air from freezing the pipes.

An additional preventative step you can take to keep pipes from becoming frozen is to seal up any cracks that could let cold air in your home. Focus on the window frames, which can let in surprisingly intense drafts. Not only will this help to stop your pipes from freezing, but it will have the additional benefit of making your home more energy efficient.

Five More Ways to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing:

  • Open the cabinet doors. Opening the cabinet doors beneath the sinks and other spaces of your home with pipes will permit more warm air from the rest of the room to flow near the pipes.
  • Letting water drip. Keeping the water flowing by letting your faucets trickle even just a little can help avoid frozen pipes.
  • Open interior doors. By opening doors for rooms or hallways, your home can be heated more consistently. This is mostly important if there's a room that is generally colder or hotter than the remainder of your home.
  • Close the garage door. The exception to the open doors advice is the garage door, which you should keep down – namely if your water lines run through the garage.
  • Keep the heat flowing. Experts recommend setting the thermostat at a stable temperature and leaving it in place, rather than allowing it to get cooler at night. Set it no colder than 55 degrees.

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing in an Unused Home

When you’re inside a house, it’s not difficult to recognize when something isn't right. But what additional steps can you attempt to prevent pipes from freezing in a vacant home or vacation home when the damages from a frozen pipe can remain unnoticed for days or even weeks?

As with a primary residence, insulating any exposed water lines, opening interior doors inside the home and winterizing the vacant home are the basic steps to try at first.

Additional Steps to Keep Pipes from Freezing in a Vacant Home:

  1. Leave the heat on. Even though you won't always be home, it’s best to keep the heat on – even if you switch the thermostat down lower than you would if you were there. As with a primary house, experts suggest keeping the temperature at no lower than 55 degrees.
  2. Shut water off and drain the lines. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time or are winterizing a rustic cabin or cottage, switching the water off to the house and clearing the water out of the water lines is one way to stop pipes from freezing and breaking. Don’t forget to flush the water out of all appliances, such as the hot water heater, and the toilets. See to it that you clear out all the water from the pipes. If you’re unsure of how to drain the water from the pipes, or don’t feel comfortable handling it yourself, a plumber in Moline will be delighted to offer support.