Preparing for winter
Winter temperatures often means frozen pipes for homeowners, leading to pipes bursting and excessive damage. People typically think of frozen pipes occurring only in northern regions of the country with harsh, cold winters and freezing temperatures. But those in southern locations also deal with pipes located in un-insulated spaces. All it takes is outside temperatures of 20 degrees Fahrenheit or less for pipes to freeze.
Protect yourself by preparing ahead of time
- Drain outside water hoses and disconnect them from faucets.
- Store the hoses in a warm location like a shed or garage.
- Remove water from sprinkler lines and swimming pools as directed by the manufacturer.
- Wrap insulating material around outdoor faucets. You can also protect faucets with special insulated covers.
- Check for unprotected water lines in unheated areas like crawlspaces, attics, garages and basements. Use pipe sleeves or insulating material to protect the pipes. Don't forget to protect hot water pipes, which can also freeze if the water is not flowing.
- Cover any unprotected outdoor pipes coming from wells and water meters, using insulating material. Protect the meter, well and any other water storage units with insulated covers.
- Get rid of any drafts in crawlspaces and fix any broken doors and windows. Add insulation to exterior walls and keep temperatures set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even if you are not going to be home.
- Close garage doors if water pipes are located there and open any cabinet doors in bathrooms and kitchens so warm can circulate around the water lines in the event of a freeze.
- Turn on a slow flow of water at a faucet inside the home. Choose a faucet furthest from the water meter if a freeze is expected.
* Always consult a plumbing supply company or hardware store for types of insulation materials to use.