Every winter comes with the possibility of cracking your water pipes and flood your houses if the pipes are left unprotected and vulnerable. Given that water can expand 10% when frozen and intrigue a strong flow suddenly, pipes are at risk of bursting as they are not strong enough to take the pressure. The chances of pipe freezing are high, especially when pipes are installed in a location anywhere with access to cold air.
How to Keep Pipes from Freezing in Crawl Space?
This article aims to guide you on how to take proper precautions to keep pipes from freezing in crawl space. As cost repairs of fixing the pipes will cost you a fortune, we suggest precaution is better than cure.
Step 01: Check Crawl Space Vents
As mentioned before, the location of the pipes affects the probability of them freezing. Water pipes that are in the crawl space vents are usually are at high risk of getting exposed to cold air more than any other place inside the house.
It is very important to check crawl space vents to ensure that the vents have access to maximum ventilation. Crawl spaces that are at risk of getting moist and humid can cause plumbing or structural damages in the long run. It is better to check the pipes thoroughly before the winter to be on the safe side.
If you find any form of leaks, damages, or believe that the crawl space vents require changing, do it! It may seem like a lengthy investment of time and money, but the benefits will outweigh the investment by ensuring the safety of the pipes.
Keep in mind that if the crawl space vents are not blocked from having access to cold air, the chances of pipes freezing will increase. To ensure your vents are safe from the outside cold air, you can also insulate your vents with pipes.
Step 02: Insulate Your Pipes
Insulating the pipes with insulated wraps or foam rubber sleeves is one of the easiest and affordable ways of preventing your pipes from freezing. Adding a protective layer over the pipe is a very effective, cheap, and durable solution to your fear of busting pipes and costing you a buttload of money.
One of the upsides of insulating your pipes is that it does not let the hot water cool off easily. This will save you money by decreasing energy consumption.
If your pipes are already insulated, make sure to inspect if the insulations are intact and are not worn off. If they are, change them before the winter and make sure there are no pipes with exposed materials.
Among the two options of insulation materials, foam rubber sleeves are easy to insulate. Also, the prices are low for insulation per linear feet.
Step 03: Keep The Cabinet Doors
While cold air can freeze your pipes, warmth from the inside of your house can keep them warm. The best way to keep them warm is to give them access to the heat within your home by opening the cabinet door, especially the cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathrooms.
This may seem like an unreliable step, but this step allows the heated air from the kitchen or steam from the bathrooms to keep the pipes warm and a few steps away from freezing. Cabinets that have plumbing on the other side of the wall can delay the process of your pipes getting frozen during winter.
Step 04: Let The Faucets Drip
If put in a simple way, it is harder for the cold air to freeze running water than it is to freeze still water. The chances of water freezing and expanding till the pipes burst out with pressure are higher when the water is in a steady state.
Also, when the water does not have a way to move or flow, it freezes with a lot more pressure on the pipes. Ergo giving the waters within the pipes access to constant flow even if the flow is as light as dripping from faucets. Keeping a slow drip going in your faucets will hold back your pipes from freezing.
To some people, this may seem like wasting water, but this hack slows down the freezing process and can save you money for fixing all the pipes and water damages.
Step 05: Use Heat Cables
Heat cables are another effective solution that can help you keep water from freezing in your home. These types of cables are usually connected to an electrical source and wrapped around the length of the water pipe. It functions by producing heat that keeps your pipes at an appropriate temperature and keeps them away from freezing.
Sometimes in cases of extreme weather, insulating pipes are just not enough; it requires an extra notch of support. It is very important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for setting up the cables.
This may be a bit expensive compared to the other ways of keeping your pipes warm, but this way guarantees warmth within a short period of time.
Frozen pipes in the crawl space are not only a source of water damage but also falls within the things that can lead to a health hazard. It is important to take the necessary steps to keep the pipes heated in order to keep your house safe and sound.
We believe it is best to take necessary precautions before the winter comes so that you don’t have to be stressed about it when it is too late. That being said, even if you are prepared for the winter and have taken the necessary steps, checking to see if everything is undamaged and keep on checking on them every once in a while is highly recommended.
Hopefully, this article has answered all your queries about how to keep pipes from freezing in crawl space and has helped you decide on what necessary actions need to be taken.