The North Texans expect extreme freezing temperatures over several days. It’s a bad mix that can cause water pipes to burst and costly damage to homes.
Experts say that broken pipes are one of the most common and damaging problems encountered at this time of year.
Winter weather advice Extended and Extended Wednesday – check out the latest details here.
According to the Institute for Corporate and Home Security, insurance companies have paid $ 4 billion in damages for frozen, burst pipes over the past decade.
Pipes on the outside walls of a house, especially those facing north, are most at risk.
Thanks to tips from the American Red Cross and AdvantaClean, a local home restoration franchise, we’ve put together some helpful information to help you prepare your home.
TIPS FOR PROTECTING PIPES
- Let the cold water drip from the faucet, which is served by exposed pipes. As long as the water flows through the pipes even in a trickle, it is less likely that it will actually form into ice. It’s a misconception that hot water takes longer to freeze. Experts recommend running water from the hot and cold taps when you can.
- Insulate exposed water pipes. You can purchase insulated sleeves at your hardware store that slide easily around exposed pipes in the garage, attic, basement, or outdoors. Pipes located in these areas are more prone to freezing.
- Seal leaks or cracks on pipes in the bathroom or kitchen. cold air can flow through the smallest crevices. Insulate or caulk the pipes to prevent them from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat at the same temperature both day and night. If you temporarily stop using lower night-time temperatures, this can lead to higher heating bills. However, you can prevent a much more costly repair if the pipes freeze and burst.
- If you go out in cold weather, keep the heating in your home on and set a temperature no less than 55 ° F.
- Open the cabinet doors under the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom to allow your home’s central heating to keep the pipes warm.
- If you have outside lines like sprinklers, drain them.
- Remove your hose from the outer spouts and bring it inside. Check whether you can interrupt the water supply to the hose outlet.
- Cover your outer cone. Most homeware stores have hose spout covers that you purchase. However, if these are sold out, you can wrap a towel around them for temporary repair.
IF YOUR PIPES FREEZE
- If you turn on a faucet and nothing but a trickle comes out, you can assume it’s a frozen pipe. Turn on all the faucets to find out which ones are working. A small drop of water from a faucet while others are bubbling is a good indicator of a frozen pipe.
- An infrared thermometer can help locate a frozen tube quickly and easily.
- Experts advise keeping the tap open and safely heating the pipes underneath with a heating pad, hairdryer, or portable space heater. Never put a heat source directly on the pipe, especially if it is PVC. It could break the pipe. Do not use an open flame.
- Check for leaks and, if necessary, close the main water valve to the house and close all taps.
- Pour a tablespoon of salt down the drain, but don’t add water. The sudden change in temperature could rupture the pipe.
- If you’re not sure what to do, call a plumber or other professional to help.