How to Avoid Frozen Pipes this Winter in Northern Virginia

Winter can be a beautiful season in Northern Virginia, with light snow dusting the ground and making the landscape glisten. Unfortunately, the freezing temperatures that allow snow to fall in the first place often lead to frozen pipes for many of Virginia’s residents. To avoid the cost of repairing or replacing a burst frozen pipe, follow the tips below to prepare for the winter cold!

If you need more information or you suspect you already have frozen pipes, give HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited a call at (703) 454-5040 today!

Which Pipes Are Most at Risk for Freezing?

The likelihood of your pipes freezing depends primarily on where they are located in or around your home. As a general rule, the more exposed the pipe is to cold air, the more likely it is to freeze. The pipes most likely to be affected by freezing temperatures are:

  • Exposed outdoor pipes
  • Pipes located in exterior walls (kitchen pipes often fall in this category)
  • Exposed pipes in unheated rooms of your home (e.g. basements)

Read about the signs of frozen pipes, and contact us immediately if you’re concerned!

How to Prepare Your Pipes for Freezing Northern Virginia Temperatures

Looking for ways to avoid frozen pipes? Follow these tips:

  • Insulate, insulate, insulate! A heating cable or heat tape works best on any exposed pipes (whether they are located inside or outside your home), but even foam insulation will help. These barriers add an extra layer of protection between your pipes and the cold, allowing water to flow freely.
  • Get rid of the hose. We mean it. While a frozen garden hose sounds like a minor problem, it can cause major complications with your plumbing. When your hose freezes, it puts pressure on internal plumbing and greatly increases the risk for a burst. Do yourself a favor and drain your hose, disconnect it from the spigot, and put it away until winter is over. Make sure you cap off the spigot and insulate it to keep the cold air from entering your pipes from the outside.
  • Keep water dripping from a faucet. We know you’ve heard this before. And you might be thinking, “Does that really help?” The answer is yes! Keeping your water running at less than a trickle lessens the risk of pressure buildup during periods of freezing temperatures. Of course, don’t turn the faucet on full force or even at a steady flow, because you’ll waste water and money. A simple drip will do, and choose a faucet as far away from your central plumbing as possible for best results.

Prevent & Repair Frozen Pipes in Northern Virginia with HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited

While these tips should keep your pipes from freezing this winter, things happen. Despite your best efforts, the temperatures outside are sometimes too extreme for some plumbing systems to handle. If you find yourself in a situation where you suspect your pipes might be frozen, don’t hesitate to call us! We offer emergency plumbing services for repairs and replacements big and small at any time of day. Give us a call at (703) 454-5040 or contact us online today!