Winterizing Your Home
Texas has recently experienced some extremely cold temperatures. Our Home-Care program takes care of winterizing, which includes some of the things listed below. However, there may be additional tasks that need to be done in the event of an extreme freeze.
These tips provide you with an added level of protection that most people can do themselves.
Covering the water line at the meter
The ground in our area is sufficient to protect water pipes from freezing in most situations. But there are places where the ground does not cover the pipes such as at the meter. In a light freeze, especially one that only lasts a few hours, there is no need to provide added protection at this location.
But in the case of an especially hard freeze, especially one that will stay below 32 degrees for an extended period, you will want to provide insulation at this location. A terrific way to do this is to pile litter such as hay or leaves over the location and place a wheelbarrow upside down over the litter.
Covering exposed pipes
There may be other places that pipes may be exposed coming into the home. These pipes probably even have insulation on them. But in a hard freeze, especially one that lasts for an extended period, that insulation alone will not do the trick.
Wrapping those pipes in added insulation such as towels and placing a large pot of hot water next to them before you go to bed for the night will provide added protection.
Extra protection at spigots and outdoor faucets
In winterizing your home, we will have provided spigot covers that provide a good deal of protection but are insufficient in the event of a hard and/or extended freeze. These should be given added protection similar to exposed pipes. Another strategy that works in all but the hardest of freezes is to leave the spigot with a slight flow, more than a drip, a steady trickle. This strategy works less well if the power goes out to the extent that your home becomes cold.
Winterizing your sprinkler system
We do not winterize sprinkler systems. Most systems are maintained by another company under a separate contract. Make sure that your lines have been drained prior to winter.
Additional steps to take in the event of a hard freeze
Open cabinets. Any place there is a sink open the cabinet doors. This allows the home’s heating system to keep pipes and walls where there is plumbing warm.
If you have a laundry room in a garage or other unheated location, you will want to take precautions to keep those pipes warm as well.
Keep faucets dripping. Keeping a small amount of water moving through the pipes will help keep them from freezing. The harder the freeze the more water you will want moving through the pipes.
We can only hope that we don't have an extreme freeze this year, but these extra steps will help prevent damage to your home if it does.
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