Obviously, winter in North Texas is pretty different than it is in places like Canada or the arctic circle. Just because we live in a desert doesn’t mean that cold weather never happens, however. For instance, did you know that meteorologists believe Dallas will have a particularly brutal winter this year?
If you’re like most Texans, you’re probably not particularly prepared for cold. That means your home probably isn’t, either. That might be a problem. After all, pipes may not freeze very often down here, but it can happen. If you want to keep your plumbing safe this winter, here are some easy steps you should take.
Check your home’s exterior
Now’s the time to look for any cracks or holes that could let cold air onto your exposed pipes. Filling and repairing exterior breaches is a great way to protect your pipes from the elements. Plus, you’ll be doing your home’s HVAC a favor, too!
Insulate your pipes
Cold weather isn’t very common in Texas, so chances are you’ve never considered insulating your pipes before. Wrapping up your pipes to keep them warm is a very simple and easy way to help prevent freezing. It can also help your hot water stay hot longer! You could insulate your home’s pipes using several different materials, including insulation sleeves or slip-on foam insulation.
Keep a faucets dripping over winter
Frozen pipes are dangerous because ice blocks the regular movement of water through pipes. As water slams up against the ice blocking its way, pressure builds up inside the pipes. Over time, enough pressure can build up that the pipe bursts. Burst pipes are expensive to fix, and the water they discharge can inflict other structural damage in your home. If you want to stop that from happening, you have to keep pressure from building in your pipes.
One surprisingly effective way to do that is by leaving one of your faucets dripping during the winter. Opening a faucet gives the pressure in your pipes will have somewhere to go, instead of building up. We recommend opening at least one faucet to drip over the winter. You should probably make it a faucet you don’t spend too much time around, for your sanity’s sake.
Expose indoor pipes
Keeping your pipes warm is the easiest way to protect them during cold temperatures. The easiest way to do that is simply to expose them to your home’s heat. Find ways to do that to help keep your pipe from freezing.
It’s not as hard as it might sound. For instance: chances are, many of your pipes are inside cabinets. Simply open up those cabinets during especially cold days to make sure your home’s heat gets to them.
If this coming winter is as cold as predicted, you’ll need to do some extra research to protect your home’s plumbing. If you have questions or need help with that this winter, call up the pros at Ben Franklin Plumbing.