Pipe Cover for Winter: 8 Preparation Tips

pipe cover for winter

As a responsible homeowner, you do your best to keep all your house’s systems running efficiently. You also know that temperatures dip well below freezing in the winter months in Massapequa, NY. The last thing you need is a frozen pipe to cause a disaster in your home. 

Will using a pipe cover for winter provide your plumbing with enough protection? You have many options when it comes to insulating your plumbing. As trusted providers of plumbing repair in Massapequa, we’ve provided a short list of simple plumbing preparation tips for winter.  

1. Use Foam Sleeves to Cover Your Pipes

Using a pipe cover for winter offers straightforward protection to exposed pipes located outdoors or on exterior walls. Most hardware stores will carry the products needed to accomplish this task, including foam covers, pipe tape, and faucet covers. A little insulation goes a long way when preventing frozen pipes. 

2. Prepare Your Outdoor Faucets and Sprinklers

Your outdoor plumbing, including hoses and irrigation systems, requires extra attention. Before the first freeze, disconnect your hoses and the water supply to your outdoor plumbing. Remember to cover any outdoor faucets as well. 

You can also hire our plumbing specialists to blow your irrigation system out. When an expert clears all the water out of an irrigation system, it prevents underground pipes from freezing over. Any frozen pipes can cause pressure to build up within your plumbing system.

When warm weather returns, your pipes will be ready to go. You can quickly restore water to them.  

3. Maintain a Consistent Indoor Temperature

Keep your thermostat set to a consistent, warm temperature to further protect your indoor plumbing. When not at home, some people either turn their heat off or down to a low temperature to save money. However, doing so increases the likelihood of your pipes freezing. 

You should set your thermostat no lower than 60 degrees at any point during winter. Using a pipe cover for winter weather only goes so far without regular and sufficient heat.

A warm, ambient temperature prevents cold weather from destroying your pipes. While you’ll pay more in energy bills, you’ll circumvent expensive, disruptive repairs. 

4. When Temps Dip, Faucets Drip

While many people offer this tip, it bears repeating. Let your faucets drip when temperatures drop below freezing. You need a slow, consistent flow for this tip to work.

If you let your faucets drip, won’t it waste water? It does waste a little water. However, the prevention and protection it provides make it worth a little waste.

The constant water flow prevents pressure from building up in your plumbing system. It also prevents your pipes from freezing all the way through. Besides, a burst pipe creates much more water waste than a faucet dripping overnight. 

5. Open Your Cabinets

When the weather forecast predicts temperatures below freezing, open any cabinet doors that house plumbing. This action increases the ambient temperature surrounding your sink pipes. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and mudrooms often have cabinets that house exposed pipes.

Check these areas for cabinets with an exposed pipe. While leaving these cabinet doors open may look unsightly and strange, it allows the warmer air inside your home to surround the pipes.

Don’t forget to remove any harmful chemicals from the cabinets if you have small children or pets. You can close the cabinets once outdoor temperatures rise above freezing.

6. Use Appliances on Cold Nights

Save your loads of laundry and dishes for nighttime. Start wash cycles as you prepare for sleep to ensure water movement and heating during cold winter nights. As long as water continues flowing, your plumbing system will maintain safe water pressure. 

Plus, washing machines and dishwashers use hot water for each cleaning cycle. Hot water keeps your pipes’ internal temperatures far above freezing. It also warms up the areas around surrounding sink pipes. 

The circulating warm water may further keep your home warmer. If you use your dryer at night, it’ll also provide additional heating to your home and nearby pipes.  

7. Cut the Water Supply When Traveling

When you pack up for a trip during the winter, turn off your home’s water supply. You’ll prevent water from flowing into pipes and prevent freezing or fractured pipes. 

Cutting the water supply on top of leaving cabinets open and maintaining a warm indoor temperature keeps your home safe during your trip. You can enjoy your travels free from worry. Once you return home, you can safely turn your water back on and enjoy running water. 

8. Insulate Your Home

You might think your home has good insulation, but we recommend double-checking. Not only does proper insulation protect your plumbing, but it also improves your energy bills. Plus, it can be easy to forget about certain areas of your house, like attics, basements, garages, or storage sheds. 

Drafty windows or doors allow cold air inside, contributing to frozen pipes. Attics and garages with no heating become susceptible to the elements.

When you notice chilly air flow, use caulk to eliminate drafts around windows or doors. Insulate any faucets or pipes located in drafty attics or garages. 

What Should You Do If Your Pipes Freeze?

How do you know if your pipes have frozen or burst? Usually, a swollen area forms on the pipe. You might see a cut-like opening on the pipe’s surface.

Water may drip or flow from this fracture. Each of these signs indicates a burst pipe.

You should first call your insurance company to inform them of the issue. Next, remove all belongings like carpets, furniture, or other items prone to water damage. Finally, call the plumbing experts at Chivalry Plumbing & Heating. 

Call Chivalry Plumbing & Heating for All Your Plumbing Needs in Massapequa, NY

Are you noticing signs you need a water pipe emergency repair because you forgot a pipe cover for winter? Call Chivalry Plumbing & Heating today at (516) 402-3200. We’ll send Massapequa’s top plumbing experts to your rescue.