The winter of 2021 was record-setting in all the ways we here in North Texas wish it wasn’t. Prolonged freezing temperatures brought havoc across the state, taking tolls on our power grid, leaving many homeowners without power and, in some cases, water.
Homeowners here in North Texas quickly learned that their homes were not built to handle these temperatures over a prolonged period, and as the temperature started to rise, so did the number of burst pipes.
Now in 2022, many homeowners are preparing for the worst. Below you’ll find our guide that will help you prepare your home for the possible freezing temperatures to come.
What Causes Burst Pipes?
Your pipes are only as strong as your winter plumbing plan is. As freezing temperatures set in across North Texas, your pipes can be at risk for cracks or even bursts. Any water exposed to cold air can freeze without proper protection. We’ve mentioned before that water molecules expand as water freezes, putting additional pressure on your pipes. Before long, the pressure gets too intense and the pipe bursts, leading to leaks, if not flooding.
Older homes usually have more exposed plumbing and older pipes. Under these conditions, these homes will likely see burst pipes if no precautions are taken. So, what can you do to prevent your pipes from bursting? Here’s what you need to know.
Protect Your Outdoor Plumbing
You’ll need to address potential problem areas outdoors first since outdoor plumbing is most at risk. Disconnect all hoses from their spigots and locate your outdoor water shut-off valve. You likely won’t need to use your outdoor plumbing in the winter, so go ahead and shut off the water to your exterior fixtures. You should then drain any remaining water in those attachments by “turning them on.”
Insulate Exposed Pipes
If some of your pipes aren’t insulated by your home’s heating system or walls, they’re at a higher risk of bursting. You might find exposed pipes in your attic, basement, garage, and cabinets. Protect this plumbing with foam insulation or insulation wrapping, which can be found at your local home improvement store.
As for your garage, keep the door closed to keep in as much of your home’s heat as possible. Exposing even a bit of piping to the harsh winter air can cause your pipes to freeze, so double-check each pipe for any breaks in the insulation.
Always Maintain Plumbing & Heating Systems
Warm air is natural insulation, but if your heater goes out while it’s freezing outside, you might be in bad shape. Stay on top of your heating maintenance, so you and your plumbing can be cozy this winter.
Plumbing maintenance will also be a lifesaver. Your water heater plays a big part in maintaining a stable, warm temperature for your water. Seasonal maintenance will pinpoint any problem areas for your water heater and pipes.
As our weather changes, we might see an increasingly harsher winter each year. We all need to prepare our homes, but it’s much easier when you have the Bacon team to lean on. Call Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric for inspections, repairs, advice, or anything else you need this winter!