As colder temperatures start to ease into North Texas, we are reminded that even after a long and sweltering summer, winter can also be just as hard. As we’ve seen in the recent past prolonged freezing temperatures can bring havoc across the state as many homes 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.
Below we discuss our five best tips to prepare your home for the worst of winter weather.
Drain the Water from Outside Faucets and Hoses
The majority of Dallas-area households have water hoses attached to outside faucets. In North Texas, keeping them connected is not a problem throughout the summer and most of the year. It is preferable to disconnect those throughout the winter and keep them in your garage. Water may freeze inside the hose, finding its way into the faucet and the pipe if the hose is left attached to the faucet. The pipe could then burst, allowing water to pour into your wall.
Faucet Covers and Insulation
To lower the freezing risk, extra insulation may be required around exterior pipes, such as a water faucet. Most hardware stores sell foam covers that you may buy to cover pipes to help protect them from the elements. Water faucets that stand up above ground and emerge from the earth perform well with this. This kind of winterization does not work as well on faucets that are built into the side of a house and enter the wall. Some of these pipes that run through your foundation may require repair if neglected for a while.
Consistently Check for Leaks
In rare scenarios, even with proper preparation, pipes can still crack and burst due to extreme temperature drops, so inspecting your home for leaks throughout the winter is the best practice. If you find a leak, it’s imperative that you contact a plumber immediately to get it fixed, as waiting or attempting to patch it yourself may only make things worse.
Locate your Water Main
One of the best things you can do to prevent extensive damage in case of an unfortunate event like a burst pipe is to know where your water main is located. Newer DFW homes often place the water main in flower beds or close to the front door. Knowing where your water main is located allows you to shut off the water to your house when disaster does occur.
Set the Thermostat to 55 or above
It’s best practice to always have your thermostat set to a least 55 degrees during the winter months. If your home is lower than 55 degrees, the chances of pipes freezing are much more likely. Newer DFW homes often have better insulation or upgraded thermostats that will automatically turn on your furnace in case you forget but setting it at 55 all the time is a great place to start.
You can’t be too cautious regarding your home’s plumbing. However, preparing your home each season doesn’t have to be a hassle when you have a team like Still Water Plumbing at the ready. For any problem, big or small, give our plumbers a call.