While freezing weather is not something that makes its way to south Texas often, it is essential to know how to prepare your plumbing for freezing weather in Kingwood. Residents in this south Texas town endured several days of below freezing temperatures in February of 2021 and as a result experienced a myriad of related issues from frozen pipes to burst pipes to severe water damage.
It was a costly lesson for residents who are more experienced in preparing for hurricanes than they are sustained freezes. The key is to know how to prepare your plumbing for freezing weather in Kingwood well before it arrives.
Top Tips on How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Freezing Weather in Kingwood
The thing about getting ready for freezing weather is that if you wait too late to start, there may not be enough supplies to go around. It is wise to begin taking measures such as these in early fall to ensure you will have the materials and time you need to safeguard your home:
- Insulate exposed outdoor and indoor pipes – Outdoor pipes should be wrapped well to protect against the frigid air freezing them and potentially causing them to burst. While it is common knowledge to wrap outdoor pipes, it is less common for people to think about insulating indoor pipes. This can provide an extra layer of protection against extended periods of below freezing weather as well as bursting pipes which can sometimes cause thousands of dollars in water damage.
- Survey the outward appearance of your pipes – When insulating outdoor and indoor pipes, be sure to do a visual inspection for any sections that appear to be bulging or misshapen. This generally means the pipe has frozen before and its integrity may be compromised. In cases like these it is usually recommended to have a plumber replace the affected pipe as without this proactive step, the pipe may be more susceptible to bursting during the next freeze.
- Unhook any gardening hoses – This is an area that many people overlook, but any water trapped in the hose or the spigot can freeze and eventually lead to a burst pipe.
- Check the furnace – A home that has an efficiently running heating system can help reduce plumbing issues compared to one that is not. The warm air circulating in a home lingers and is helpful in keeping air just underneath pipes warmer, therefore making it harder for them to freeze. Without the warm air from a furnace, a pipe is exposed to cold air from the outside and inside the house, making it much more likely to freeze. For this reason, if you are planning to be away from the home during the winter months, it is critical to keep the furnace running in your absence.
- Insulate any openings to the home – Once you are confident the furnace is working properly, turn your focus to ensuring the warm air it circulates is staying in the home and that there are no drafts. Plug any gaps that appear in doorways or windows to keep cold air from coming in and hot air from going out. If there are water lines in your garage, it may be also wise to insulate the garage door to impede the flow of cold air into that space.
- Know where the water shut-off valve is – If a pipe bursts it will continue to spew water and create damage as long as water is supplied to it. Know where the water shut-off valve is for your home so you can quickly turn it off in the event that a pipe bursts. Knowing how to do this very simple thing could enable you to save thousands in serious water damage.
- Shut off the water before leaving town – If you plan on traveling during the winter months, many experts recommend shutting off the water and draining the pipes before you leave. Once you turn off the water to the home do not forget to drain the water already in the pipes. Empty pipes won’t cause an issue if they freeze.
In addition to this fall preparatory work, there are other steps a person can take to minimize the effects of freezing weather on the pipes once it arrives. Some actions you will need to take include:
- Running the furnace. This will help keep the home warmer inside which can help keep indoor plumbing a little warmer too.
- Keeping the cabinets open. In areas such as under bathroom and kitchen sinks, leave the cabinet doors open. This allows the warm air already circulating in the house to flow inside the cabinet and thereby keep the pipes there warmer.
- Letting the faucets drip during the overnight hours. If water is stationary in a pipe, it can easily freeze under the right conditions which can in turn cause it to burst. When a faucet is allowed to drip overnight (when temperatures typically sink to their lowest), it is instrumental in keeping the water moving and reducing the pressure inside the pipe.
- Knowing a reputable Kingwood plumber. In the event that a plumbing disaster does strike your home, have a good plumber on speed dial that you can call right away to fix any plumbing issues.
Another tip for how to prepare your plumbing for freezing weather in Kingwood is to know what to do if a pipe freezes. You may suspect a frozen pipe if you turn on the water and nothing or only a trickle comes out. The best solution in this situation is to reach out to a licensed local Kingwood plumber for advice. Trying to fix the problem yourself may end up causing more damage than if left in the capable hands of a professional.
Know how to prepare your plumbing for freezing weather in Kingwood and it could potentially keep your pipes from freezing and/or bursting. This is the best way to proactively save you thousands of dollars in repair work for water damage.