We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but summer is officially over. And as plumbers in Bay Ridge, we know that the season after summertime fun is get ready for winter! Winter in this part of Massachusetts is tough on plumbing. Icy cold temperatures and wicked winds that continue for days and days on end can contribute to many homeowner’s biggest nightmare: frozen pipes.
Are Frozen Pipes Inevitable?
Spoiler: No, frozen pipes are not inevitable.
Pipes freeze because they’re exposed to the cold. It’s that simple. There are places in our home – such as basements, or within poorly insulated walls – where plumbing gets cold enough that the water inside the pipes freezes. Ways to prevent the pipes from getting this cold include insulating the pipes. Many families also choose to use heat tape or heat cables to keep pipes warm.
If your pipes are currently not insulated, this is a really good time to change that. Other seasonal plumbing tasks you’ll want to do now include disconnecting any garden hoses and shutting off and draining any outdoor faucets.
There are some tasks you can do to help keep your pipes from freezing that may not immediately appear to be related to the plumbing. For example, it’s a good idea to make sure all of the basement windows are in good condition and can be closed against the winter cold. When windows are broken or always open, it can cause the temperature in the basement to drop significantly.
It’s also a good idea to look over your home’s exterior completely. You’re searching for any gaps, cracks, or vulnerabilities that allow cold air to penetrate. Some of these will be very small openings that can be addressed with caulk or other tools by the homeowner. For more significant problems, you’ll want to work with the appropriate building professionals.