Living in Texas, most of us get accustomed to dramatic changes in the weather. It’s not uncommon to have temperatures fluctuate by 50 degrees or more in 24 hours. Though our winters are typically mild compared to other parts of the country, we still get our fair share of hard freezes. And, if the “Snowpocalypse” of 2021 taught us anything, it’s that when it comes to taking care of our homes, an ounce of prevention goes a long way!
Read below for tips on winterizing your home…
WATER SHUT-OFF VALVE
Know where your home’s water meter and main water shut-off valve is located and ensure it’s operable. In the event of a broken pipe, having the ability to quickly turn off water to your house can mean the difference between a small inconvenience and a major headache. If you’re planning on traveling, consider turning the water off to your home completely prior to leaving.
EXTERIOR HOSE BIBS
Remove all hoses from exterior hose bibs. If possible, turn off water to the hose bibs and drain all water from the line. Insulate all exposed exterior pipes and spigots with foam pipe and fixture covers.
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
One of the biggest problems we saw during the February 2021 freeze was failure of tankless water heaters. Most tankless water heaters are equipped with low external temperature controls that heat and circulate water to prevent the unit from freezing. But those controls require power. In the event that power fails during a hard freeze, consider draining the water from your tankless water heater to prevent failure.
Ensure all exposed pipes (exterior, in crawl spaces, in attics) are properly insulated with 1″ thick pipe foam. Take the time to properly tape the foam to ensure a snug fit and adequate insulation.
Keep your home’s thermostat set at 60 degrees or above. Ensuring your home stays warm helps to keep pipes in exterior walls from freezing. For plumbing mounted on exterior walls, open cabinets to allow air to circulate.
LET FAUCETS DRIP
Allow interior fixtures (sinks, showers, etc) mounted on exterior walls to drip. Keeping that steady flow of water can prevent pipes from freezing.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Consider having a licensed plumber like Mend Services prep your home for a freeze! In the event that you do experience an emergency, make sure the repairs are done right. Whether you do the repair yourself or hire a professional plumber, ensure that repairs are code compliant and won’t lead to future failure!