You probably don’t think about the pipes in your house too often, and for the most part, you don’t have to. In the midst of a New York winter however, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the temperatures and those pipes to make sure a deep freeze doesn’t spell trouble.
When water freezes it expands, meaning that water that freezes in your pipes can exert more pressure than the pipes can physically handle leading to annoying leaks or messy bursts. This means a mess, emergency calls to plumbers, and unexpected bills to have these damaged pipes repaired or replaced.
So what can you do? How can you protect your pipes to avoid freezing when the temperatures are steadily going down?
First off, be aware of the temperature, and set your thermostat slightly higher than normal when it is very cold. Heating pipes are slightly thinner than other pipes and can freeze more easily, which can cause a disastrous domino effect. If plumbing fixtures (like a faucet or shower) are on exterior walls, run a small electric heater nearby to be sure they don’t freeze on you.
Know your house! Be sure any outdoor hose bibs or spigots are drained and turned off, and know where your water shut off valves are so that you can close the valves in case of a leak or burst, avoiding excess water damage.
If you discover problem spots this winter, take advantage of the warmer weather in the spring and summer to insulate problem pipes and replace old hose bibs with frost proof hose bibs to save you trouble next winter.
It’s been chilly, but we haven’t hit a deep freeze yet this year. The last thing you need is a costly and inconvenient homeowner headache, so keep an eye on your pipes and be proactive to avoid freeze ups this winter.
Frank Failla is a Long Island realtor based in Merrick and serving much of Long Island. To learn more about Frank or exciting Long Island properties, visit online at frankfaillahomesli.com.