Texas winter comes in all shapes and sizes depending on where you live.
For some folks, winter means wearing a light jacket, while others prep for what seems like a winter apocalypse. But if you’ve ever dealt with freezing temperatures as a homeowner, you know how serious it is to ensure your home (including pipes) is protected from icing over — which can cause a myriad of costly problems.
Ideally you should be prepping your home before the freezing winter temperatures blow through, so here are a few things you need to do when a cold front is on its way.
Cover outdoor pipes and faucets
If there are any exposed pipes, hoses, or faucets on the exterior of your home, those are most likely to freeze over first since they’re not in a heated or insulated space.
The problem is that the pipes leading to those items (or the exposed pipes themselves) may be filled with water. So when a cold front comes through and freezes the water inside those pipes, the water becomes ice. Ice is heavier and more dense than water, which can cause pipes to expand and burst. And that is a no-bueno issue you ever want on your hands.
If you have a pool or hot tub, you’ll also want to cover and insulate any pipes, valves and pumps as available.
Typically a styrofoam or other insulated covering should do the trick for even the lowest of Texas winter temperatures. However, if a serious winter apocalypse seems to head your way and temperatures are forecasted to reach a record-breaking low, you might want to temporarily cut off the water supply to those exterior faucets so you can drain all the leftover water sitting inside the pipes.
Better be safe than sorry.
Turn off your sprinkler systems and exterior pipes
While sprinkler systems are underground, the ground can also freeze solid with low winter temperatures. Since the pipes that are used for sprinkler systems are typically made from plastic, it can easily rupture if the water inside of it becomes frozen. Plus, there’s no need to water your lawn (which would make it even icier) during the cold winter.
If you’re unsure how to turn off your sprinkler system, don’t try figuring it out on your own or any mistake could be a costly fix. Your best bet is to call the company who installed the sprinkler system, read your user manual (if applicable), or at the very least do research online on how to properly turn it off.
If you have a sink or washing machine in an unheated garage, it would also be a good idea to shut off the water there.
Leave indoor sink cabinets open
Even with indoor sinks, temperatures inside sink cabinets can still get low, which doesn’t always prevent your sink pipes from freezing over.
Leave the sink cabinets open in your bathroom, kitchen and any other rooms in the house that have some kind of faucet. Make sure the doors to all interior rooms with pipes are left open to allow heat to flow through. If it’s a non-heated room in the house, you might even consider adding a small space heater overnight to protect your pipes.
If you have young kids or pets, don’t forget to check for any harmful materials stored underneath that sink cabinet to prevent potential danger as it’s exposed and unattended.
Drip indoor faucets
Turn on all of your indoor faucets to a slow drip (about 5 drops per minute). This decreases the chance of a connected pipe becoming clogged with ice. The flow of water also helps manage the pressure that is built between the faucet and any ice blockage that might occur, which helps prevent a burst pipe.
If a pipe has frozen in the past in or out of your home, make sure those pipes are extra taken care of, insulated and protected from future freezing.
Contact Basin Water Solutions Today
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