Every winter, the threat of frozen pipes looms over every homeowner. Bursting pipes during extreme cold can cause extensive water damage and expensive repairs. Homeowners resort to various measures such as insulating their pipes and using heat tape to prevent freezing, but have you ever heard that keeping cabinets open can help prevent frozen pipes? It may sound strange, but it’s true!
Below, we’ll take a look at how keeping your cabinets open can make a significant difference in avoiding a plumbing disaster during chilly months and discuss other tips for protecting your home’s plumbing system from costly damage caused by burst pipes.
The Risk of Pipes Burst During Freezing Temperatures
The risk of pipes bursting during freezing temperatures is a common problem that homeowners face in cold weather. This occurs when water freezes inside the pipes, causing them to expand and potentially crack or burst open.
Lack of warmth can contribute to condensation on your pipes, which can also freeze and lead to potential bursts or leaks that may result in water damage. This damage can be extensive and costly to repair, with cleanup costs often reaching thousands of dollars.
Maintaining proper heating helps ensure safety, and to minimize the chances of pipes freezing and bursting, it's a good idea to take several precautions when the weather starts to reach freezing temperatures—one of these precautions is opening cabinet doors.
How Keeping Cabinets Open Can Help Prevent Pipes Damage
Leaving your cabinet doors open allows for warm air from within their home to circulate around exposed pipes under sinks and vanities. When you keep your cabinets closed, you prevent air from warming them, essentially keeping them isolated in cooler air.
Many homeowners either don’t think about their indoor pipes, or they keep their cabinets closed as they believe this will retain heat. In reality, closed cabinets end up blocking the air that mitigates heat loss. As a result, water supply lines and drains located in these enclosed spaces can become vulnerable to low temperatures which cause water inside them to freeze and expand.
By keeping cabinets that contain pipes open whenever possible and maintaining adequate heat levels throughout your home, you're taking crucial steps towards ensuring that your plumbing system remains intact even during winter's worst conditions.
In addition to keeping cabinets open, other tips for preventing frozen pipe damage include insulating pipes properly and using heat tapes or space heaters in hard-to-reach areas such as crawlspaces or attics.
Identifying Key Areas of Your Home Where You Should Keep the Cabinets Open
A key area in your home where you should keep the cabinets open during freezing weather is around any pipes that are located within them. In particular, cabinets located underneath sinks in your kitchen or bathrooms tend to have a lot of exposed plumbing, making it especially important to keep these areas open.
By taking a few minutes to open your cabinets as the weather reaches freezing outside, you can reduce the risk of frozen pipes and avoid costly damage repairs down the line. Remember too that prevention is always better than cure when it comes to plumbing issues!
Other Tips for Preparing Your Home
While opening your cabinets is one way to prepare before cold weather hits, but there are other measures you should take as well. This includes dripping water from your faucets during freezing or near-freezing temperatures and preparing and insulating your home against cold weather.
Insulating exterior walls, attics, crawl spaces, and basement walls helps guard against cold air and drafts that may freeze unprotected piping joints or connections inside those areas. Additionally, sealing gaps in windows and doors prevents cold air infiltration into your living space—plus, it can help reduce your heating bills!
It is also important to keep your thermostat at a warm enough temperature both day and night to avoid fluctuations that could lead to frozen pipes. This is especially true if you plan on leaving on a trip—you should set your thermostat to at least 68 degrees.
You should also tend to your outdoor pipes and water supply lines to ensure they’re properly protected from the cold. While there are several ways to protect these pipes, one of the fastest, easiest, and effective ways to do so is to install a Freeze Miser on each outdoor faucet.
At under $30, the Freeze Miser® is an affordable and hassle-free solution to protect your outdoor plumbing. It can be installed in less than 2-minutes, and you can enjoy protection all winter long. It will work on its own as temperatures drop to freezing levels—once the water in your pipes reaches 37°F, it will begin to drip to prevent freezing, and will stop dripping when the weather warms up.
As we’ve discussed, keeping your cabinets open during freezing weather can be a simple yet effective way to help prevent pipes from bursting. By allowing warm air to circulate around the plumbing, you can help maintain a steady temperature and reduce the risk of frozen water expanding and causing damage.
Opening your cabinets should be one step in your preparation plan, but there are other precautions you should take to protect both your indoor and outdoor pipes, such as dripping water from your tap during freezing weather, ensuring colder areas of your home are properly insulated, keeping your thermostat at or above 68 degrees, and ensuring your outdoor pipes and faucets are protected.
By following these simple tips, you can better prepare your plumbing system for cold temperatures and minimize the likelihood of needing costly repairs due to burst pipes.