How Can I Better Protect Pipes Long Term?
In our previous posts, we discussed how you can help prevent your pipes from freezing this winter. We also talked about quick solutions you can use if you didn’t have a chance to freeze-proof your home earlier.
But what if you’re looking for something more long term? The following are some helpful long-term solutions that will require a little more effort, but are likely to pay off in the long run help you protect pipes in your home.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to protect them from freezing. This will probably require the services of a licensed contractor or plumber. If you have exposed pipes, ask a professional about what can be done to bring them inside. Also see if any inside pipes that border a foundation wall can be moved to an inner wall. An ideal time to inquire about relocating the pipes is if you already have a home renovation project scheduled.
- Add insulation to drafty spaces. Outdoor pipes aren’t alone in their susceptibility to freezing. Any pipe that is exposed to a draft has the potential to freeze if the temperature falls enough. Adding insulation to areas such as the attic, basement or crawl space and foundation walls is a great way to reduce drafts and prevent your pipes from freezing. Once you’ve added the insulation, turn the lights on in your home and head up to your attic. If you see any light in the attic coming from below, it’s an easy way to see where air is escaping.
- Provide a little extra protection for your pipes. If a pipe cannot be moved, or if you just want to add a little more protection, fit vulnerable pipes with insulation sleeves. You can also try wrapping the pipes with a towel.
- Invest in a back-up source of power like a generator in case your furnace fails.
- Install an Internet-controlled thermostat. It will email you an early warning when your home’s thermostat begins to dip to dangerous temperatures.
- Apply a monitored automatic excess flow switch to your main incoming domestic water line. It will let you know about a broken pipe or valve as soon as possible. You will probably want to talk with a plumber or other home contractor about this.
Learn what you should do to protect your pipes if you’re going on vacation