Protect those Pipes!
Believe it or not, we are still in winter. It may not feel like winter, however February lies ahead and February is the time we get our worst weather in the north Texas area. Freezing temperatures can play havoc on a home if not prepared. Do not let our warm days fool you. You need to be ready at least until April to insure you are protected. Busted water pipes are a nightmare. Not only must you deal with the busted plumbing you need to repair the damage the water caused. Below are some tips to help getting you through this time of year and to help prevent costly damage.
Cover those outdoor faucets. Buy Styrofoam nozzle covers from Home Depot or Ace or any hardware type store. They are easy to install. Cover all exterior faucets. They will trap the indoor heat and keep the nozzles from freezing. Freezing water expands and splits piping. As the ice thaws then you have a mess. Nozzle covers are cheap insurance and well worth the money.
Drip your faucets. This applies to indoor faucets installed on exterior walls of your home. You do not need flowing water just a steady drip will work. Like a stream, water does not freeze on a moving current. Be sure to remember when the temperature rises above 32 degrees to turn those faucets off else you may be stuck with a large utility bill.
Do not turn off the heat. This may sound obvious. Nevertheless if you are selling your home and have moved out or you are going on an extended trip during the winter months it is not uncommon for the owner to turn off the utilities to save some cash. The plumbing in most north Texas homes runs across the attic. Heat rises and the warmth from the living spaces below keep the attic space above freezing. When the heat is turned off nothing is left to keep those pipes warm and they freeze. After you come back and turn everything on, ouch! A flooded home. I have heard horror stories of this happening before. You can turn down the heat but by all means do not turn the heat off.
Wrap pipes located at the eaves. If your plumbing is located near the eaves of the roof you may consider buying heated wraps. This is a good idea even if the heat is turned on. At the edge of the roof is space that is exposed to the outdoor temperature and heat from the home has a hard time reaching those areas.
If the weather is freezing it is always better to safe than sorry. Busted water pipes are no fun and can be very expensive. Keep your home protected. See ya down the road.