Plumbing located within exterior walls or unheated crawl spaces is most vulnerable to freezing or bursting. These precautions can help prevent damage to pipes and subsequent flooding:
- All interior pipes should be insulated or have wall insulation around them, especially in vulnerable areas such as attics, crawl spaces and along outside walls.
- Use weather-resistant insulation to protect exterior pipes.
- Cabinet doors under sinks should be kept open during a heavy freeze to allow heat to circulate around pipes.
- Hire a professional to winterize the outdoor sprinkler system and remove all residual water, which can freeze and cause pipes to burst.
- Disconnect exterior hoses from their faucets and install frost-free hoses for hose bibs.
- Properly insulate unfinished areas such as basements and garages, where pipes may be exposed.
- Keep your thermostat set at a minimum of 55 degrees in the winter.
- Install a low temperature sensor if you are away from home often. It will activate your alarm system if the home temperature falls below a pre-set level.
- If you suspect a frozen pipe, shut off the water main source and call a plumber.