Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. As water freezes, it expands and puts significant pressure on your pipes. Both copper and plastic pipes can freeze or burst in frigid temperatures if not handled properly. Here’s what you can do during and after a freeze to protect your home.
Insulate your exposed outdoor plumbing
Outdoor pipes exposed to the frosty temperatures are usually the first to freeze. Outdoor items that will need protection include hose bibs, sprinkler valves, water inlets, and water pipes. Here are a few ways you can accomplish effective pipe insulation:
- Wrap dry newspaper around the out door plumbing then cover with a plastic bag and secure with tape. The plastic bag will keep moisture off of the paper to avoid it getting wet and freezing itself.
- Towels, old t-shirts or other fabric items can be wrapped around your exposed outdoor pipes then wrapped in a plastic bag and taped in place.
- Styrofoam or insulated plastic hose bib covers can be found at most local hardware stores, if you’re not the DIY type.
Let the heat flow indoors.
Outdoor pipes aren’t the only items at risk during a freeze indoor pipes can also cause issues if not attended to.
- Keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature (no lower than 55°)
- Open the bathroom and kitchen cabinets to circulate warm air around indoor plumbing.
- Close your garage to protect water supply lines that may run through that area or if this is where your water heater is located.
Watch for drips or leaks.
Leaks are a telltale sign of a burst pipe. Listen for drips and examine your walls and ceiling for water pooling. Hold a paper towel below your outdoor pipes to see if they are leaking. If you find a leak or water present, call a plumber and shut off water to your home.
Check your faucets.
If you try to turn on water and nothing comes out, the pipe is likely frozen. Call a plumber and don’t panic. Keep the faucet turned on and shut off the water to your home.
If you suspect issues with your plumbing system, call 713-526-1491 to get a Village Plumbing technician out to your property. If the temperatures are still freezing, sometimes we will need to wait for them to thaw before a repair can be done. In the meantime, water should be turned off to the home (or leaking fixture) so when the pipe thaws it will minimize damage.