Frozen Pipe Insulation
Winters in Maryland are tough enough without the added stress of frozen pipes. You want to focus on the joys of winter: snowball fights, sledding, warm fires and cocoa, instead of worrying about the freezing temperatures causing your water pipes to freeze and burst.
When the outside temperature dips to 20° or below for several hours or more, your pipes become susceptible to freezing, especially outdoor or exposed pipes. A frozen pipe is headache enough, but a burst pipe could cause serious water damage to your home.
At Foam InSEALators we understand we are in it together through the winter season. Whether you have successfully made it through many Maryland winters, or this is your first, here are some tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing when extreme cold weather is on the way.
- Know your plumbing — Identify where your plumbing pipes run and know where the water shut-off valves are located. Make sure you have easy access to the main water shut-off in case of an emergency. Have your plumbing and heating systems serviced yearly so you can stay on top of small problems before they become big ones during the winter.
- Adjust your thermostat — Keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature throughout the day and night. Maintaining an inside temperature of approximately 65° or higher will help keep both your inside pipes and the pipes under your home at a warmer temperature.
- Secure hoses and faucets — Remove all your outdoor hoses so water will not get trapped in them and cause the faucet to freeze. Turn off the water supply to outside spigots and winterize outdoor faucets (hose spigots) with insulation.
- Let water drip — Letting a trickle of cold water drip from your faucets in the coldest parts of your home or outside will help prevent the water and pipe from freezing. A slightly higher water bill is much better than the cost of replacing a burst pipe.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors — Keeping these doors slightly ajar allows warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if sinks are on exterior walls.
- Seal and caulk leaks — Prevent drafts by sealing cracks and openings around windows, doors and sill plates where your house rests on its foundation.
- Add insulation — Places such as attics, basements, crawl spaces, and exterior walls are often under insulated which can pose big problems in the winter. Insulating these spaces with spray foam insulation is a highly effective, long-term solution to preventing frozen pipes. Spray foam insulation:
- Helps to maintain a warmer temperature in your home by keeping the warm air inside during the winter, which also warms your water pipes.
- Is water resistant and can be sprayed around water pipes, both inside and out, to protect them from freezing by creating a thermal and air barrier.
- Provides an extra layer of insulating protection for plumbing in super cold exterior walls.
Steps to Thawing Out Already Frozen Pipes
Just in case it was too late to act before the frigidly cold air arrived and you discover a frozen pipe or two, here is how to thaw them out:
- Turn on the faucet — Running water, even a trickle, helps relieve the pressure build up that a frozen pipe can cause, leading to a burst pipe.
- Apply heat to the frozen area — Using a blow dryer, space heater or heating tape, slowly apply heat to the frozen pipe. Make sure the water is still running.
- Continue to apply heat — Keep going until full water pressure is restored. Keep the faucet open for a few more minutes so the ice has time to completely empty from the pipe.
- Check other faucets in your home — Double check all the faucets in your home for other frozen pipes. One frozen pipe may mean there are more.
Let Us Help You Be Prepared This Winter
At Foam InSEALators, our goal is to help our Baltimore community be prepared for whatever winter might bring. Don’t wait until it’s too late, contact us today to schedule your free estimate and learn more about preparing your home for freezing temperatures and preventing your pipes from freezing with spray foam insulation. Our dedicated team of insulation experts is ready to answer your questions and help you weather the winter headache free.