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How to Prevent Your Water Pipes from Freezing

The wintertime around Arlington, Centreville, Reston, and all throughout Northern Virginia can produce temperatures in the teens—and even below—which means homeowners in the area should take steps now to prevent frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands, which can cause your pipes to burst—this can cause major problems and create lengthy plumbing bills. As one of the leading plumbers in Northern Virginia, we’ve helped homeowners for over 30 years deal with and prevent frozen pipes.

Frozen Pipe Prevention before Winter

Rapid drops in temperature, poor insulation, and improperly set thermostats are the major culprits behind frozen pipes. As a VA homeowner, you can follow the preventative maintenance steps below to prevent frozen pipes before it really gets cold. These maintenance steps includes:

  • Insulating the pipes in your home’s attic and crawl spaces—exposed pipes are vulnerable to freezing. Remember that the more insulation you use, the better.
  • Using heat tape on exposed pipes to prevent freezing. Heat tape is a very useful device designed to prevent pipe freezing and energy loss in homes during the cold season. It’s very important you carefully follow all the instructions provided by the manufacturer—improperly installed heat tape can lead to a fire.
  • Sealing leaks that allow cold air to enter inside where pipes are located. Search for any possible air leaks around electrical wiring, dry vents, and pipes. You should use caulk or insulation to keep the cold air out—even a small opening can bring in enough cold air to freeze your pipes.
  • Disconnecting garden hoses and using an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.

If you would like help preparing your home for winter weather, contact us online today!

Frozen Pipe Prevention before Traveling

If you are like other Virginians, you escape the wintertime by vacationing to warmer, tropical locations—we can’t blame you! It is very important, however, to prepare your home and your pipes before traveling. Before leaving your home for an extended period of time, you should follow these steps minimize the risk of coming home to frozen pipes:

  • Set the thermostat in your home to at least 55 degrees.
  • Ask a family member or trusted neighbor to visit your home at least a few times a week to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent frozen pipes.
  • Shut off and drain your water system.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.

What Can I Do If My Pipes Freeze?

If you turn on a faucet and there is only a trickle of water that comes out, your pipes are most likely frozen. The most likely places for frozen pipes are against exterior walls or where your water system enters your home. When treating frozen pipes always keep the faucet open, so pressure can escape. Running water through the pipe will help to melt the ice. You can also apply heat to the section of frozen pipe using electric heating pads or a hair dryer. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, call Nugent & Sons today at 703-291-1926. Our team of experts can help assess and fix the problem for you. We also offer a wide variety of plumbing services, so if your system is in need of plumbing repair, we can take care of that too!

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"John Nugent & Sons, I believe, is a model for a company with excellent management, superior service through cooperative scheduling and excellent service representatives."

J.A. – Leesburg, VA.

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