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How to Protect Plumbing on Exterior Walls in the Winter

While true cold spells – the long-lasting polar fronts that settle on the northern parts of the country – are rare in sunny Texas, even a short burst of arctic weather can do some serious damage to your home’s fragile pipe system. When hit with a sudden chill, unprotected pipes can freeze and burst, causing a flood of water to come pouring into your living room. The good news is that a pipe-related flood can be completely avoided with simple preventative care. Here’s what to put on your to-do list to prep your home’s pipes before the next freeze strikes:

  1. Insulate all unheated pipes. Besides the system that runs along the exterior, you also want to insulate faucets and exposed pipes inside the home. You can find affordable insulation materials at any home improvement store.
  2. Cover the vents around your home’s foundation. While necessary for reducing humidity and maintaining good air quality in the summer months, open vents let cool air inside in the winter, potentially exposing unheated indoor pipes to dangerously low temperatures.
  3. Drain water from sprinklers, hoses and outdoor water fixtures. To avoid causing damage to the circulation system, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have a swimming pool and don’t want to shut it down completely, you can prevent frozen pipes by temporarily running the pump motor when the weather gets cold.

Be Ready to Spring into Action When the Temperatures Dip Below Normal

When the cold weather does arrive, making small changes to your daily routine can make all the difference. Frequently run your faucet, maintain a steady temperature indoors and leave the heat on when you aren’t home to reduce the chance of pipes bursting.

If any of the pipes feel like they’re on their way to freezing, use a space heater or an electric heating pad on the affected area to bring it back to room temperature. When you can’t find the problem spot, it’s time to call in the pros. Scheduling an inspection appointment is always easier and less expensive than dealing with flood damage.

Do your home’s pipes need professional attention? Contact us at ABC Home & Commercial Services for more information about plumbing services in Bryan-College Station.

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