The snowy winter weather offers fun activities like sledding down a nearby hill or snowball fights in the front yard. That being said, winter weather can be hard on your home. Severely cold conditions can cause the water lines in your house's plumbing system to freeze and burst, which could cause serious water damage and enduring negative effects.

If your pipes are frozen solid, you might need to hire a plumber in Omaha to fix them. That being said, there’s several tasks you can perform on your own to prevent this from happening – and even just a bit of prevention can go a long way.

What Pipes Are at a Higher Chance of Freezing

The pipes at the highest risk of freezing are uncovered water lines. Common locations for uncovered pipes are inside attic crawlspaces, near exterior walls, in the basement or even running underneath a modular home. Water lines that are not correctly insulated are at the highest risk.

How to Stop Pipes from Freezing in Your Home

Sufficiently insulating exposed water lines is a solid first step to keeping your pipes ice free. You’ll likely find many of these materials from a local plumbing company, and could also already have some someplace in your home.

Try not to wrap other flammable insulation materials where they can catch fire. If you don’t feel comfortable insulating the pipes by yourself, contact your local plumbing services professional in Omaha to get the job done right.

If you do decide to insulate the pipes on your own, common insulation materials for pipes are:

  • Wraps or roll insulation: Lots of plumbers, hardware stores and national retailers sell insulation – usually fiberglass, foam wraps or pipe sleeves – that you can wrap or fit around your pipes. They are sold in differing lengths and sizes to suit the needs of your home.
  • Newspaper: To a decent degree, newspaper can be used as insulation. If the weather is going to get cold and you aren’t able to add insulation in time, wrap uninsulated pipes in this.
  • Towels or rags: If you aren’t able to add insulation and don’t have any newspaper to use, wrapping notably vulnerable pipes with towels or clean rags as a final effort could be just enough to keep the cold air off the pipes.

Another preventative step you can attempt to keep pipes from being covered in ice is to seal up any cracks that may let cold air into your home. Focus on the window frames, which can allow in surprisingly powerful drafts. This not only will help to prevent your pipes from freezing, but it will have the additional benefit of making your home more energy efficient.

Five More Ways to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing:

  • Open the cabinet doors. Opening the cabinet doors beneath the sinks and other spaces of your home that have pipes will allow more warm air from the rest of the room to get to the pipes.
  • Letting water drip. Keeping the water flowing by letting your faucets move even a small amount can help prevent frozen pipes.
  • Open interior doors. By opening doors in rooms or hallways, your home can be heated more evenly. This is mostly important if you have a room that is frequently colder or hotter than other rooms.
  • Close the garage door. The exception to the open doors recommendation is the garage door, which you should keep shut – especially if your water lines run through the garage.
  • Keep the heat steady. Experts recommend setting the thermostat at a constant temperature and leaving it there, rather than allowing it to get cooler at night. Set it no colder than 55 degrees.

How to Keep Pipes from Freezing in an Unused Home

When you’re in your own home, it’s easy to know when something breaks down. But what extra steps can you try to keep pipes from freezing in an empty home or vacation home when the damages from a frozen pipe might not be discovered for a while?

As with your primary residence, insulating any exposed water lines, opening interior doors throughout the home and winterizing the vacant home are the basic steps to take.

Other Steps to Keep Pipes from Freezing in a Vacant Home:

  1. Leave the heat on. Even though you won't always be home, it’s best to keep the heat on – even if you turn the thermostat down colder than you would if you were there. As with a primary house, experts suggest keeping the temperature at no cooler than 55 degrees.
  2. Shut water off and drain the lines. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time or are winterizing a vacation cabin or cottage, switching the water off to the house and draining the water out of the water lines is a good way to stop pipes from freezing and bursting open. Try not to forget to clear the water out of your appliances, like the hot water heater, as well as the toilets. Confirm you clear out all the water from the plumbing. If you are not sure of how to drain the water from the pipes, or don’t feel secure doing it without any help, a plumber in Omaha will be glad to assist.