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Village of Park Forest - Top Story News

Posted on: November 28, 2023

Village officials give tips to prevent pipes from freezing this winter

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As winter approaches, Park Forest officials remind residents to be proactive and safeguard their home's plumbing. 

Pipes burst in the winter when temperatures drop enough for the water within the lines to freeze. This process increases pressure inside the pipes, causing them to burst at weak points. Consequently, this can result in significant water damage to homes. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces, and external walls are particularly susceptible due to exposure to the biting cold air entering utility line openings.

Public Works Assistant Director Nick Christie said it is important to remember that sometimes pipes need more than just the home's insulation.

"The most common spots where water lines freeze are when they run along exterior walls," Christie said. "Sometimes the home's insulation is not enough to keep the lines from freezing. We suggest that homeowners install insulation sleeves on these lines."

Christie added residents should let faucets drip slightly to keep water from freezing. Additionally, he said it's a good idea to keep cabinets under sinks open to allow the home's heat to warm up water lines. 

Below are nine steps residents can take to prevent frozen water lines: 

  1. Insulate Exposed Pipes: Invest in insulation sleeves, which are affordable foam coverings designed to provide warmth to your pipes.
  2. Seal Wall Cracks: Address and seal any walls that permit cold air entry, protecting your pipes and heating bills.
  3. Winterize Outdoor Faucets: To prevent freezing and damage, turn off and empty all outdoor faucets and store hoses.
  4. Allow Warm Air Access: Open cabinet doors under sinks to let in warm air, protecting uninsulated pipes.
  5. Monitor Unheated Areas: Pay extra attention to pipes in attics and basements, as these areas are at greater risk of freezing.
  6. Keep Garage Doors Closed: A closed garage door provides additional warmth and protection for pipes in garages and along garage walls.
  7. Maintain Steady Indoor Temperature: Ensure a constant temperature within your home, day and night, to prevent freezing.
  8. Run Faucets: In a sudden cold snap, let faucets run slightly to keep water moving, reducing the risk of freezing.
  9. Winterize All Properties: Take preventative measures for all your properties, including vacation homes and rental units.

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