Winterizing Your Central Oregon Home from Frozen Pipe Bursts
We see a lot of Winter-specific disasters around this time of year and specifically when the freeze hits. Take the time to look around your house and winterize your home to save money on heating and to avoid the dreaded frozen pipe burst.
Ice Dams and Water Damage
When’s the last time you cleaned out your rain gutters? Make sure you clear out any debris that may clog the drain in gutters, potentially leading to ice dams. That backed up water can freeze at night and redirects the water into your house. They can be as bad as a frozen pipe bursting. You can clean your gutters by hand, with a tool, but don’t pull or bend the gutters and throw off the drainage.
Keeping the House Warm Keeps the Water Pipes Warm
For the sake of your comfort and your pipes, set your thermostat a few degrees higher during cold weather. A good rule of thumb: during the winter, make sure your thermostat is set at least 70 degrees. Keep your heating bill low by attacking the inefficiencies.
Fix any drafty seals or openings under your doors or windows. Make sure that your openings are insulated and forming a good seal to retain heat. Consider facing your windows or covering them with curtains for further insulation. If you badly need to replace old windows, consider energy efficient, Low-E, or low emissivity, glass windows.
If you can, get up into your attic and ensure that that you have at least 12 inches of insulation between your joists. While you’re up there, take a look at your heating ducts and make sure that they are connected properly and insulated. Pumping hot air into your attic is a grossly inefficient way to pour your money away.
Tips to Protect Your Pipes from Bursting
Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures. Open Cabinet Doors. Pipes under kitchen cabinets and bathroom sinks are notorious for freezing and bursting pipes. Opening the cabinet doors that enclose these areas will allow air to circulate and help to prevent a frozen pipe burst. Make sure that you cover and insulate any pipes that pass through any unheated areas – like under your home.
Always cover exposed, outdoor faucets and consider purchasing a freeze-proof faucet with an anti-siphon valve, also known as a hose bib or spigot, in the future. A lot of folks here in Central Oregon like to let their (indoor) faucets drip to keep a little water moving through their pipes – especially for faucets running through exterior facing walls. The logic there is that it’s cheaper to run a little more water than to pay your deductible.
Other Winterizing Concerns
While we’re talking about winterizing your Central Oregon valuables, don’t forget about your sprinklers and high ticket items: boat, motorhome or anything else with a motor that you’re not using again until Spring.
Do you have any other questions about winterizing your home or water damage from a frozen pipe bursting? Contact our team to learn more, and check out our water damage repairs page to learn more about our services.