According to local news outlets, Dallas has been facing more cold fronts than usual this year. Just because our state is typically dry and warm doesn’t mean that cold weather can’t pop up. There are a lot of things a Texan might not be used to when it comes to cold fronts. Don’t forget to pull in your plants, break out your warmest jacket, and remember that your home plumbing is sensitive to dropping temperatures.
If temperatures continue to drop, your pipes, in particular, may be at risk for freezing or bursting. Preparing against potential problems now could save you a huge (and expensive) hassle later. Plus, preparing your pipes for cold temperatures is surprisingly easy! Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your pipes from taking a beating this winter:
Find and Fix Existing Leaks Now
Obviously, plumbing leaks are always a problem. They waste your water, drive up your bills, and even damage your home. Leaks are even more problematic in winter, because even tiny leaks provide a place for ice to build up inside your pipes. That ice will continually build up in your pipes, freezing your running water and leading to serious problems.
Even without extreme temperatures, small leaks can cause big problems over time. There are several ways you can check your home’s pipes and fixtures for leaks. If you want to be absolutely sure, you could also always call in the pros. The first thing you should do to prevent frozen pipes this winter is make sure your pipes aren’t leaking. Fixing up leaks will help you save money now and in the future, and you’ll protect your home to boot.
Invest in some pipe insulation
The pipes running through the heart of your home tend to be protected from cold temperatures by your home’s existing heating. Pipes that are in unheated areas are not, however. Without this built-in protect, these pipes are more likely to dent, leak, rupture, or break–during especially cold weather. Unprotected pipes are typically found running through garages, attics, or crawl spaces. During especially cold temperatures, these are generally the first pipes that might freeze, warp, or rupture. If you want to avoid that, you should consider investing in pipe insulation.
Here are a few different ways to insulate pipes, including inflatable inserts and shapeable insulating foam. Protecting out-of-the-way pipes with insulation will help keep them warm during cold times of the year. It’ll also prevent the water in the pipes from cooling too much, which could help you save money. Pipe insulation is available at hardware stores, but installing it correctly can be somewhat difficult. You can always call in the pros for help. We’ll help you put it in right.
Make sure your outdoor faucets are winterized
Outdoor faucet pipes are more susceptible to cold weather problems than any of your home’s other plumbing. It makes sense: outdoor faucet pipes connect directly to the outdoors. If any of your pipes are going to freeze this season, there’s a good chance it’ll be the outdoor faucet pipes.
You can protect your faucet pipes from the cold by winterizing them. Remove hoses and other attachments connected to the outdoor faucets. Use the shutoff valve to shut off water flow through the outdoor pipes completely. Drain all the water remaining in the faucet after turning off the outdoor water. Removing all the water that could freeze from these pipes will significantly help protect them from cold-related damage.
If you need any help making sure your home is ready for the unseasonably cold winter we’ll have this year, don’t hesitate to call us up. The pros at Ben Franklin Plumbing have you – and your home – covered.