How to Prepare Pipes for Freezing Temperatures

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Preparing pipes for freezing weather should be on every homeowner’s to-do list in the fall. Frozen pipes are at high risk of bursting, which can result in dangerous and costly damage to your home and even your heating system. Keep your home protected and follow these steps for how to prevent water pipes from freezing.

Why is Preparing Pipes for Freezing Weather Important?

Even in warmer climates, a temperature dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit can cause your pipes to freeze and potentially burst. This can result in a lot of costly damage such as:

  • Pipe repair or replacement
  • Heating system repair or replacement
  • Structural water damage
  • Electrical water damage
  • Mold and mildew growth

Properly prepping your pipes for the cold each fall season is much more time and cost-efficient than dealing with the repercussions of a burst pipe.

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

The best solution to preventing your pipes from freezing is efficient home heating and air circulation. However, as the colder months approach, there are a few additional steps you can take to make sure that your interior and exterior piping is protected against the cold.

Pipe Insulation

Exposed pipes are more susceptible to freezing because of their direct contact with frigid air. Pipe insulation will help keep your pipes better insulated and protected when temperatures drop.

Some affordable options for insulating or heating your pipes include:

  • Foam wrap insulation
  • Rubber wrap insulation
  • Heating cables
  • Foam and foil wrap tape


You may be surprised to find air leaks in your home can account for as much as 40% of the energy used to heat and cool your home. Aside from wasting energy (and therefore, money), leaks make your pipes more susceptible to freezing. Weatherproofing the windows and doors around your home can significantly help keep the heat inside and your pipes better protected.

Winterizing Outdoor Faucets

Disconnecting your exterior hoses and fully draining the faucets will prevent any standing water from freezing and expanding. This also includes your sprinkler system and swimming pool if you have one.

Consistent Thermostat Temperature

Constantly adjusting your thermostat can cause condensation to build up on your pipes and leave them more susceptible to freezing overnight when the temperature outside drops. It also puts additional strain on your furnace which can lead to unexpected repairs or decreased efficiency. Instead, keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heating System Tune-ups

Aside from keeping you comfortable inside your home, your heating system is extremely important for preventing frozen pipes. Regular tune-ups will help keep your heating system running more efficiently and prevent unexpected breakdowns.

Open Doors and Cabinets

For piping that is in unheated spaces or behind cabinets, opening up these closed-off spaces will help to better circulate heat into these areas. This can be extremely helpful in a pinch, but improving the insulation and airflow in these spots is a better long-term solution.

Wall Insulation 

Unheated areas in your home like your attic, basement, and crawlspaces are often also where your piping is located. Without proper insulation, the exposed pipes in these areas are more likely to freeze. Even adding a small amount of insulation to these spaces can make a major temperature difference.

What to do If a Frozen Pipe Bursts

If you discover one or more burst pipes in your home, the first and most important step is to immediately call a professional plumber for a burst pipe repair service.

To reduce overall damage, follow these steps while waiting for the professionals to arrive:

  1. Shut off your main water line.
  2. Open your faucets.
  3. Identify any additional burst pipes.
  4. Place a bucket beneath the leak if you can.
  5. Clean up any puddles to reduce water damage.
  6. Turn up your heat, and open doors and cabinets surrounding your pipes.

Related Content: What Is an Automatic Water Shut-Off Valve and How Does It Work?

Need Burst Pipe Repair? Call Daniel’s Plumbers in Austin, TX

Prevent severe plumbing and water damage to your home by scheduling emergency burst pipe repair. Count on your local Austin and Travis County plumbers at Daniel’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning for reliable service. Call us at 512-456-3570[OUW12] , or contact us online for additional home heating services to prep your pipes for winter.