5 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Jan 10, 2022

When cold winter weather descends on your home, you run the risk of frozen pipes. While one night of freezing temperatures won’t cause your pipes to ice over, sustained cold temperatures can freeze your pipes. If you don’t end up taking action fast, frozen pipes can burst, leading to water damages and expensive repairs. To protect your pipes over the winter, find out more about why pipes freeze and the main ways you can prevent your pipes from freezing over the winter.

Why Do Pipes Freeze?

Over an extended period of cold weather, the ground can begin to freeze, causing your pipes to freeze as well. If these freezing temperatures continue, the water inside the pipes can turn to ice. Typically, this freezing takes a few days or even weeks to occur. However, pipes can freeze overnight if the temperature outdoors gets cold enough.

While freezing pipes will back up your water supply, the biggest danger they pose is the risk of a pipe bursting. Since water expands when it freezes, ice can put a lot of pressure on your pipes and cause them to break. Once a pipe bursts, water can flow out of it, leading to severe water damage to your home’s floor, walls, and ceilings.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Since frozen pipes can lead to major problems if they burst, you’ll likely want to know how to prevent them from freezing in the first place. Find out more about the five main ways you can prevent frozen pipes below:

1. Invest in Insulation

One of the main causes behind frozen pipes is a lack of proper insulation in a home’s basement, attic, and crawl spaces. Without effective insulation, these areas can be exposed to freezing temperatures that cause pipes within your home to freeze and burst. Contact a professional who can inspect your home and install insulation in areas where it needs it.

2. Shut Your Garage Door

When you have pipes running through your garage, you’ll want to keep your garage doors shut as much as possible over the winter. By keeping your garage door shut, you’ll retain warm air inside your garage and prevent freezing temperatures from impacting your pipes.

3. Open Your Cabinets

If it’s freezing outdoors, you can protect your pipes by opening up the cabinet doors that have pipes behind them, such as those under your kitchen or bathroom sinks. Since closed cabinet doors can make the air around your pipes colder, leaving them closed can cause your pipes to freeze. In contrast, keeping these doors open allows more warm air to reach your pipes and can prevent them from freezing.

4. Store Your Hoses

Pipes connected to your outdoor hoses are often at greater risk of freezing due to stagnant water building up in them. Due to these concerns, it’s a good idea to remove and drain your hoses when it starts to get cold outside. After draining the water and storing your hoses, shut off any sources leading to the house. You also want to leave your outside valves open, as it will allow any remaining water to expand without generating any pressures in your pipes.

5. Allow Your Faucets to Drip

When you’re experiencing extremely cold weather or are planning on being away from your home for a while, turn your faucets on just enough to allow water to drip from them. This slow drip of water keeps the water in your pipes moving and makes it much more difficult for the water to freeze. Though you might have a slightly higher water bill, you’ll protect yourself from the much higher expenses of fixing a burst pipe.

What to Do If Your Pipes Burst

Even when you do your best to protect your pipes, you can still suffer from a burst pipe. Some of the biggest warning signs of a pipe getting ready to burst include bulging or cracked pipes, nasty smelling drains, little to no water coming out of your faucets, or loud gurgling and banging sounds. If you notice any of these signs or your pipes have already burst, you should immediately contact a 24/7 emergency plumber to fix it before serious water damage can occur.

Need a 24/7 Emergency Plumber in Raleigh? Turn to Newcomb and Company

At Newcomb and Company, we know how important it is to act fast on burst pipes. As a result, we have 24/7 emergency plumbers available to serve homeowners in Raleigh. Whenever you notice the signs of a burst pipe, you can contact us, and one of our plumbers will get to your home fast to fix the issue. Alongside our emergency services, we can also provide several other repair and replacement services for homeowners’ plumbing needs, such as water heater replacement, shower repair, and drain cleaning.

Learn more about our plumbing services today. If you have any questions or need a 24/7 emergency plumber in Raleigh, don’t hesitate to contact us


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