Winters can be quite brutal in our part of the country and, in turn, can wreak havoc on water pipes. If your pipes freeze, they could burst as the frozen water expands. Burst pipes can mean potentially thousands of dollars to replace them and to repair water damage as they thaw out. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prevent frozen pipes.
First, you should put insulation on your pipes, especially those on the exterior of your house. Various kinds of insulation are available, but thick foam rubber appears to be the best.
You should insulate basements, attics, and crawl spaces in order to help retain heat in these areas of the house during the winter months.
Use caulk or some other material to plug holes and cracks in the walls. Pay special attention to those near where pipes enter, thus keeping cold air from entering your house and interior pipes.
Keep your thermostat on the same setting at night as during the day. If you happen to be away from home, make sure your temperature is set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You may save some money on electricity by setting the thermostat lower, but the risk for frozen pipes is too severe.
During particularly cold weather, you should open the cabinets beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow heat to circulate through your pipes.
You should consider opening your faucets in the kitchen and bathroom just enough for the water to drip, allowing it to move through the pipes and thus prevent freezing.
Make sure that everyone in your household knows where the water cutoff valve on the exterior of your house is located. You should also disconnect your garden hose and open the spigot to allow any trapped water to run out at the beginning of winter. Then turn off the faucets until spring.