Over the past couple of years, Texas has proved that it can produce intense winter storms with lasting freezing temperatures. These severe winter weather outbreaks can cause havoc on your home’s plumbing and can be disastrous if you don’t prepare. If not adequately protected, your pipes will be at risk for cracks and bursts, as consistent freezing temperatures will force water molecules to expand, putting pressure on your pipes. If the pressure gets too intense, you could experience a burst that will lead to leaks and possibly flooding.
Older homes usually have more exposed plumbing and older pipes. Under freezing conditions, these homes are more prone to seeing burst pipes if no precautions are taken. So, what can you do to prevent your pipes from bursting? Here’s what you need to know.
Protect Your Outdoor Plumbing
You’ll need to address potential problem areas outdoors first since outdoor plumbing is most at risk. Disconnect all hoses from their spigots and locate your outdoor water shut-off valve. You likely won’t need to use your outdoor plumbing in the winter, so go ahead and shut off the water to your exterior spigots. Be sure to drain any remaining water in those attachments, as water can get trapped with frequent use.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
If some of your pipes aren’t insulated by your home’s heating system or walls, they’re at a higher risk of bursting. You might find exposed pipes in your attic, basement, garage, and cabinets. Protect this plumbing with foam insulation or insulation wrapping, which can be found at your local home improvement store.
As for your garage, keep the door closed whenever possible to retain as much heat as you can. Exposing even a bit of piping to the harsh winter air can cause your pipes to freeze, so double-check each pipe for any breaks in the insulation.
Circulate Warmer Air
Areas like under your kitchen sink or bathroom sink usually are hidden by cabinet doors that can retain cold air when closed. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate. This ensures that your house stays warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing.
Preventative measures like keeping your heat on while you’re gone can save you money in the long run. Regularly running water through your faucets is another preventative step that can do the same. By constantly allowing water to drip through hot and cold faucets during winter weather, you can prevent the water in your pipes from becoming stagnant and potentially freezing.
Always have Total Plumbing ready to go.
These preventative steps can keep your home running smoothly all year long, but if an emergency happens, you can always count on Total Plumbing to help.
In order to get your home ready for the winter season, make sure to give the team at Total Plumbing a call for any questions, concerns, or plumbing inspections that you need taken care of.