5 Tips to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

JANUARY 3, 2018 — The arrival of an arctic blast can bring with it the mess and aggravation of frozen and ruptured water pipes in your home or business.

Frozen pipes can cause more than $5,000 in water damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Pipes most susceptible to freezing are the ones located near outer walls, in crawl spaces and in attics.

If you haven’t yet prepared for the cold weather, now is the time. Here are five things you can do to protect your home or business during a deep freeze:

  1. Allow hot and cold water to trickle from a faucet on an outside wall, especially at night when there is no water flow for many hours.
  2. If you are going away, have someone check on your house daily to ensure the heat is still on or drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).
  3. Insulate pipes in areas likely to be exposed to below freezing temps, and if you have uninsulated pipes, open cabinet doors to allow more heat to reach them.
  4. Make sure heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees.
  5. Close any open crawl spaces and porches where pipes might be exposed.

Staunton Public Works Director Tom Sliwoski said it’s the time of year when his staff receives numerous calls about ruptured pipes and waterlines and frozen water meters. He encourages residents to take preventive measures, such as sealing openings that let in cold air, wrapping pipes with heat tape, insulating pipes, disconnecting garden hoses, and shutting off and draining water pipes leading to outside faucets.

“With the extremely cold temperatures that are forecast, residents should take some simple precautions to prevent pipes in their homes from freezing. These steps can save both money and headaches later on,” he said. “In the unfortunate event that pipes do freeze, Public Works can assist by turning off the water at the meter at homes without an inside cutoff valve. Also, if a resident does not have running water due to a frozen meter, please call Public Works.”

You may contact the Public Works Department about water issues at 540.332.3860.

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