Roger The Plumber, a residential plumbing and HVAC services company, offers advice for protecting the home’s plumbing system during freezing weather.

The first step homeowners should take is to check the insulation. Pipe insulation helps prevent water in the plumbing system from freezing and expanding, which in turn could cause pipes to burst. Insulation also helps control condensation, which could cause the pipes and fittings to corrode. 

Homeowners can choose from a few different types of plumbing insulation options. Conventional foam insulation has a slit on one side, which makes it easy to wrap a pipe and tape it shut. Self-sealing foam insulation has an adhesive along the slit which can be removed to seal the foam. Spray foam insulation is used by professional plumbers to seal pipes located in areas with little space between the pipes and exterior walls. Lastly, fiberglass pipe covers are used when pipe temperatures are unusually high.

Roger The Plumber General Manager Hunter Hamilton also recommends checking for cracks in pipes. “Cracked pipes allow air to flow into the pipes, potentially causing pipes to freeze or widening the cracks. If you spot a crack in a pipe, contact our team for immediate service. You don’t want to wait for the crack to grow larger and damage the entire system.”

While traveling or away on vacation, it’s important to turn off the home’s water supply and drain the plumbing system of all water by opening the faucets. The water shutoff valve is typically located in the basement.