With the next wave of snow and plummeting temperatures, frozen pipes continue to be a concern this winter. Water inside inadequately insulated pipes can freeze and exert pressure of up to 2,000 pounds per square inch, stopping water from flowing through the pipes, interrupting service to the home, or worse, pipes will rupture and cause costly damage. In fact, frozen pipes are the second most common cause of home insurance claims in the U.S. according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Thankfully, there are plenty of companies that offer plumbing services in Chapel Hill should the worst happen to your pipes. However, there are ways that you can try and prevent the need for professionals to intervene.

The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) recommends the following seven inexpensive tips to ensure your home is well insulated and save energy too.

Insulate Your Windows and Doors

1. Check and refresh caulk around your windows.

2. Check for air leaks around windows and doors using a lit incense stick. If the smoke is sucked out of an opening, seal the leak with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping.

3. The easiest place to insulate that will generate the biggest results is your attic. The US Environmental Protection Agency suggests at least 12-15 inches of insulation on the floor of your attic. You also want to make sure there is no damage to your roof, which might allow heat to escape. If this is something you are concerened about, you might want to get someone like this cedar park roofing company to assess for damage.

4. If you don’t have energy-efficient windows, consider using a shrink film window insulation kit from your local hardware store. You might need to use heat shrink tape to get the result you need from your insulation solution.

Prevent Pipes from Freezing

5. Foam: Insulate pipes exposed to the elements or cold drafts. For as little as $1 per 6� of insulation, you can stop pipes from freezing and save energy.

6. Dome: Placing an insulating dome or other coverings on outdoor faucets and spigots also reduce the likelihood of the water in your homes pipes freezing, expanding and causing a costly leak.

7. Drip: Drip your faucets, to you reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes. Even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system reducing the likelihood of a rupture. If you are going out of town, and you suspect they temperatures will drop, turn off the water to your home and open all of the taps to drain the water system. This way you won�t return to a frozen, soggy mess.

Now is a good time to take the necessary steps to properly insulate your home and protect your family. For more information on protecting your home from extreme cold conditions, visit www.protect-your-home.org and www.greatwinterweatherparty.org.