Don’t let Houston’s relatively mild winter weather fool you. Occasionally temperatures dip below freezing or we’ll have a snow storm out of the blue – the problem is that homes and other structures in Texas are not built with this kind of weather in mind.
If you don’t take precautions and winterize your home, you are just one snow storm or hard freeze away from experiencing a costly plumbing emergency. So, what should you do to prep your home for cold weather and hard freeze warnings in Texas?
What Type of Plumbing Emergency Occurs by Failing to Winterize Your Home
Unfortunately, your home’s pipes are not designed to accommodate ice’s larger, bulkier shape. When water turns to ice, which is what happens when temperatures when outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, it starts to put pressure on the pipes. Over time, the pressure continues to build in the pipe until eventually the pipe bursts.
A burst pipe can cause a number of problems that include:
- Damage to floors, ceilings and walls
- Electrical problems such as outlets shorting out or wire damage
- Mold growth caused by moisture accumulation
Taking a few moments to properly winterize your home can help you avoid experiencing these problems which are not only frustrating, but costly to fix.
How to Prep Your Home for Winter Weather in Houston
It doesn’t take a lot of time to winterize your home. In fact, most of the things you need to do to prep your home for winter weather take just a few minutes.
Set All Faucets in Your Home to a Small Drip
Dripping water from a faucet won’t completely prevent ice from forming inside your pipes, but it can stop pipes from bursting. The dripping water creates just enough movement that pressure won’t build up behind the ice. Without pressure, the pipes are less likely to burst.
Open Cabinet Doors Under Sinks
Open cabinet doors under the sink to expose the pipes to warm air. The warm air will prevent the water in the pipes from freezing.
Remember to Insulate Pipes Located in the Attic
Many homes in Houston have hot water tanks or heaters that are located in the attic.. If the temperatures are cold enough, these pipes that lead to these appliances can still burst if the water inside freezes. Avoid burst pipes by making sure that all pipes, especially those that run throughout your attic, are properly insulated.
Cover All Exterior Pipes
Exterior pipes, like those that provide water to your garden hose, are at a huge risk for freezing because of their outdoor location. Specialized hardware, such as insulated covers, can be purchased that will protect your pipes all winter long.
Don’t Forget to Winterize Your Sprinkler System
Make sure that the water that runs throughout your sprinkler system is properly drained. If water is left in the pipes, it can freeze which can cause the PVC piping to crack and break. If water is left in the backflow assembly, it can freeze and cause damage to your sprinkler system’s internal components.
Winterizing a sprinkler system is a bit more complicated than winterizing the pipes in your home. A local plumber can help you avoid costly damage to your sprinkler system by properly preparing it for colder winter weather.
Prepare for the Upcoming Winter Weather by Calling Pilot Plumbing
Snow and ice don’t always happen every winter in the Houston area, but you don’t want to take the chance that it could happen and you are caught off guard. Call family-owned Pilot Plumbing today to schedule an appointment with our experienced plumbers who can help you prepare your home for the upcoming winter season.