3 Important Things Every Illinois Homeowner Needs to Do Now To Prevent Frozen Pipes
With 25 to 35 below-zero windchills expected in Illinois over the next few days, make sure you do these 3 things TODAY to avoid waking up to a frozen pipes surprise on Christmas morning.
Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are no joke - they can cause serious damage to your home, not to mention the hassle of dealing with them. But fear not! With a little bit of prevention, you can avoid this winter woe and keep your pipes flowing smoothly.
Although the following tips may seem like common sense, a gentle reminder is always helpful.
Here are some easy ways to prevent frozen pipes from Better Homes & Gardens;
1. Take the time to insulate your pipes - This is especially important for pipes that are exposed to the elements, like those under your kitchen sink or in your garage. There are a variety of products on the market specifically designed for this purpose, so choose one that works best for your situation. And while you're at it, don't forget to insulate any outdoor faucets - they're just as susceptible to freezing as indoor pipes.
2. Make sure your home is properly heated - This for sure feels like a no-brainer, but it's worth repeating. If you're cranking up the thermostat to stay warm, make sure your pipes are getting enough heat too. Consider adding a programmable thermostat so you can maintain a consistent temperature in your home, even when you're not there. And if you're going to be away for an extended period of time, don't turn your heat off completely - instead, set it to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent your pipes from freezing.
3. Keep your faucets dripping - This might seem counterintuitive - after all, isn't the point to save water? - but the constant flow of water can actually help prevent your pipes from freezing. Plus, it's a small price to pay to avoid a much bigger problem.
How to Unthaw Frozen Pipes
If you do end up with frozen pipes, don't panic. There are a few steps you can take to thaw them out. Start by opening the faucet nearest to the frozen pipe - this will allow the water to start flowing as soon as the pipe thaws. Then, apply heat to the frozen area using a hair dryer, space heater, or hot water. NEVER USE an open flame or torch to thaw pipes - this can be extremely dangerous and cause further damage to your pipes.
A Few More Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes
If you're thinking that your pipes are fine and will make it through this extreme cold snap with no problems, I say, you might want to think twice. The expected windchill temps are no joke, and even the newest and warmest of homes may encounter some issues. Here are a few more simple things you can do today that I spotted on the Pecatonica Village Hall Facebook...just in case...
Stay safe and warm, my friends!
Here are some more things you should, and shouldn't do when temps get stupid low in Illinois:
12 Things You SHOULD and SHOULDN'T Do When It's Below Zero in Illinois
10 of the Best Road Trips to Take When You Need to Escape Illinois This Winter