Well it’s happened. The worst case scenario for the South, and mostly Texas. A historic cold snap leaving millions without power…and thousands with frozen and busted pipes.
Sometimes there’s not a lot we can do about it. Even preparing as best you can, and doing everything right, homes in the South just aren’t built to with stain temperatures below zero along with ice and snow (the Texas power grid system is a political subject that we will not get in to).
When a winter storm is coming, here are a few things to remember to hopefully help prevent damage:
- Know where your pipes are. It sounds weird to say, but our plumber Allen TX friends told us a lot of the times the calls they get from frozen/busted pipes are in the walls that the homeowner doesn’t know about. Unfortunately a lot of new homes or homes that were built by a large building company will skip some steps or just do the minimum to get the house up. Sometimes your pipes can be in places that you wouldn’t think of. And because of that, you don’t properly prepare for them to keep warm.
- Drip your faucets. All of them. A pretty common task, but don’t forget about your bathtubs and shower heads. Let them all drip to allow some water movement through the pipes.
- Keep all sink cabinets open. Any additional heat that you can allow inside and under your sinks will help. There are also instances with #1, where the pipes in the kitchen are in the outer wall behind cabinets. Keep those cabinets open to try to allow extra heat to the wall.
- Have heaters ready. If pipes do freeze, have some small heaters ready to put near sinks and walls to try to warm them up.
- Obviously don’t forget about your outdoor faucets. Make sure those are covered.
- KNOW WHERE YOUR WATER SHUT OFF IS. I put that in caps on purpose. In the event that you do have a busted pipe, it’s absolutely vital that you get your water turned off immediately. Most homes in Texas have the water shut off in a box in the ground in the front yard close to the street. Make note of this for your home, and know what tools you need to turn the water off.
There of course are some other things that can be done, but these are just a few of the small things that every homeowner in the South should know and be prepared to act on if you’re expecting temperatures below freezing for continuous days.
Obviously it will be important to contact a plumber if you have an emergency, but of course know in a time where almost everyone is having the same problem…plumbers will be overloaded. We’d advise to contact a local plumber at another time (slow time) to ask about things to potentially help with cold weather and your pipes.