Winter is coming, and although Houston does not experience a season full of snow and freezing temperatures, the city does get about two to three hard freezes each year. Now is the perfect time to winterize your plumbing in preparation for cold weather. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your plumbing from freezing, bursting and costly pipe repair.
Allow Faucets to Drip
An excess of frozen water in your pipes caused by winter temperatures can expand and lead to fractures or bursting. Since it is much easier for stagnant water to freeze than running water, letting your faucets slowly drip will allow the water to flow and minimize pressure on the pipes. Your water bill will see an impact, but nothing compared to expensive plumbing repair.
Leave Cabinet Doors Open
When cabinet doors are shut during winter, it leaves the plumbing under your sinks vulnerable to potential freezing due to the cold air trapped in the cabinet. Leaving the cabinet doors open will allow the heated air from the rest of your house to circulate the pipes providing necessary warmth.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
The water lines in your attic, garage, open crawl spaces and outside your home are susceptible to freezing due to the lack of insulation. Luckily, this is a simple step any homeowner can do on their own. The key to insulating your pipes is a tight fit with no air pockets to allow ice to form. There are many materials you can use to wrap your pipes to prevent freezing.
- Fiberglass pipe wrap is best for high heat areas like near furnaces and water heaters.
- Tubular pipe sticks are easy to measure and cut to fit your exposed pipes.
- You can also purchase a fairly inexpensive faucet cover to protect outdoor spigots.
- For a temporary DIY solution, you can use towels, rags or even newspaper as a shield from the cold temperatures.
Shut Off Outdoor Water Supply
If possible, drain the water and shut off the water supply to external plumbing including garden hoses, sprinklers, irrigation systems and swimming pools. No water means no freezing and no busted pipes.
Seal Cracks and Holes
Locate any cracks, holes and small spaces around pipes that will let cold air in – check areas like appliances and the outdoor faucets. Seal these small spaces with caulk or other insulation to prevent winter air from entering the space around your pipes.
Contact the Plumbing Professionals
Even after taking these steps, it is always a good idea to have a specialist inspect your water pipes. The plumbing experts at Mission Air Conditioning and Plumbing can identify any potential issues and resolve them before they become a major problem. Contact the experts in plumbing repair Houston depends on to protect your plumbing from winter weather.