How to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

It’s that time of year again ladies and gentleman. The snow is on the ground, the temperature is hitting single digits and it’s best to stay indoors under a blanket. One of the biggest problems homeowners face with the cold weather is keeping their pipes from freezing. There’s several steps you can take to avoid having to deal with this costly problem.

If you’re planning to be away from your home for an extended period of time, like a family vacation, keep the heat on in the house to at least 50 degrees. This will help keep everything over freezing. You can also turn all of your faucets on just enough to have them drip slightly to relieve the pressure on the pipes which is ultimately what causes them to burst. Opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to expose the plumbing to the warmer air in your home is also helpful. If you have pipes in a colder than normal area like a garage, crawl space or basement, consider adding some foam sleeves for insulation or electric heating tape to keep them warm.

So what do you do if you discover that your pipes are frozen? It’s time to do a little detective work. First, you have to figure out where the frozen pipe is. If only the faucet in the bathroom doesn’t work but other faucets do, you have an area you can rule out. If all of the faucets are non-functional, the main pipes that lead into the home are your most likely culprit. Once you’ve identified your frozen pipe, there’s a few steps you need to take the un-freeze the pipe. First, turn the faucet to on so when the pipe thaws the water has somewhere to go. Make sure you start the thawing process closest to the faucet and work your way backward. Don’t thaw from the blockage itself. That will only make a burst more likely. Use a hair dryer, heat lamp or hot towels to warm the pipe and allow water to start flowing freely again. Never use an open flame to thaw pipes.

In the event that the pipe does wind up bursting, don’t panic. Make sure you immediately shut off the main water valve to your home to avoid flooding your home. Once you’ve turned off the water, call a licensed plumber. They’ll come out and replace the pipes for you and give you some tips to make sure you avoid the problem in the future. Stay warm out there everyone!

5 Things to Consider Before a Bathroom Renovation

The majority of homeowners who decide to remodel their bathrooms decide to remodel because they don’t like the bathroom they currently have anymore. The only problem is that once you make the decision to remodel there’s a lot more to do than most people anticipate. We’re here to help make your bathroom remodel go smooth and easy. Below are some major points to consider before you get started.

  1. Decide on who you want to do the remodel: There are tons of resources available in the this digital age to find a licensed contractor to best fit your needs. Go online and do your research. Check in with friends and family and see if anyone you know has had work done and who they would recommend. Use social media as a way to connect with others. Use resources like Angie’s List or Houzz to help you make the best possible decision regarding your remodel.
  2. Find your style: Deciding you want to remodel is the easy part. Deciding what you want the finished project to look like is a completely different ball of wax. It can be daunting to come up with the ideal design as there are so many options out there to choose from. Start with the basics. Start by deciding on your color scheme and go from there. Check places like Pinterest and Houzz to see what others have done for inspiration. Ask your contractor for ideas and see if they have any vendors that they use regularly. Check out local home improvement stores and browse their showroom area. There’s a lot of good resources out there, it’s all a matter of finding the one that best suits your needs.
  3. Set a budget: Remodeling a bathroom can get costly. There’s a lot of great ideas out there but not all of them will fit into your personal budget. Are you going to be using a savings account that has a set amount of money in it? Will you be putting it on a credit card giving yourself more wiggle room? Are you financing it through a loan of some kind? Make a budget and decide what the best way would be for your project to stay within the budget you’ve set.
  4. Be realistic in your goals: In a perfect world, a remodel of a bathroom would take a day or two at the most. The reality of this is far different. There are several hurdles that your contractor may have to clear in order to make your dream bathroom a reality. Know going in that there are things that will be outside of your control and will need to be addressed. Most people don’t expect to find mold or rotten floor boards but the reality is that these things happen. Go into the project open minded and be prepared for the worst but be happy with the best.
  5. Enjoy the finished product: Once the remodel is finished, sit back, relax and enjoy your new bathroom. If your contractor did a good job on the project, consider writing a review on social media or other home improvement platform so others know what you liked about the contractor or what you thought could be done better.

Remodels are stressful for all parties involved but can go smooth if all of the steps above are followed. Enjoy the process and trust in your contractor. Happy remodeling!