In Prevention

Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City, TN

Fall weather is in full swing, and with the nights becoming a bit chilly, you may want to start thinking about how to protect your pipes for the upcoming winter. Whether or not East Tennessee sees some snow this year, temperatures will plummet, and you don’t want to get caught with frozen pipes that busts!

Homeowners across the country are struck with the inconvenience of busted pipes due to extreme temperatures. This unfortunate circumstance can leave your home flooded, and cost you thousands of dollars in damage. Hopefully, your homeowner’s insurance will help cover the costs, however. Still, it is always best to prevent these scenarios.

Here are some tips to help get your pipes ready for the winter so you won’t have any frozen pipes!

Outdoor Faucets

Be sure to remove all water hoses from your outdoor faucets. Drain the hoses and store them in a dry place, such as a shed or the garage, during the winter. You won’t be using it again until spring. Take extra precautions by covering your outdoor faucets with a Styrofoam bib that can easily be found at hardware stores. You can certainly use your own “makeshift” wrapping using an old towel and some duct tape, but the Styrofoam bibs are much easier to remove, can be used many times over, and look much more aesthetic than duct tape wrapping.

Repair Leaks

If you currently have any pipes that leak, call a professional plumber to remedy the problem. Otherwise, those areas of leaks would be more prone to freezing during the winter. Be sure to inspect any exposed pipes that are under your house or any areas not protected by the indoors.

Protect exposed pipes

If you have any exposed pipes, meaning pipes under your crawl space, in the garage, in a walk-in attic, or if you live in a mobile home and have pipes under your house, be sure to protect them. Pipes in these areas do not have any heat source to keep them from freezing, unlike pipes that run through the interior walls or floors of your home. Heat wrap or pipe insulation is relatively cheap, considering the cost of repairing water damage in your home. Protect any exposed pipes to prevent freezing.

Tune up the water heater

Most people do not think that their water heater requires yearly maintenance. In Tennessee, we tend to have what is called hard water, which just means we have a lot more minerals in our water than other areas of the country. Your water heater works tirelessly, and in return, experiences a buildup of minerals that need to be cleaned out each year. Mineral buildup can also affect the performance of your water heater, decreasing water pressure to the point that a pipe could freeze. If you aren’t a DIY kind of person, be sure to contact a professional plumber to service your water heater.

Leave faucets dripping

You don’t actually have to do this now, but once temperatures remain consistently low, especially below freezing night after night, you will want to keep your indoor faucets dripping ever so slightly to keep water moving through the pipes. This effort is to prevent freezing because moving water typically cannot freeze unless temperatures are extreme. Another tip is to open cabinet doors to any pipes near an exterior wall. For example, if your kitchen sink is attached to an outdoor wall, open the cabinet doors underneath to allow the air inside your home to help keep pipes warm.

What to do if your pipes freeze and bust

If you notice that a pipe is frozen before it actually bursts, you can contact a licensed plumber to come and thaw out the pipe. Do not, however, attempt to thaw the pipe yourself using an open flame as this could result in a fire.

However, if you become the unfortunate victim of a busted pipe, chances are the busted pipe could end up spewing water for hours on end while you are away from work. If this is the case, shut off the main water supply to your house to stop the water. Then, call the experts at Spotless Carpet Cleaners to assess the damage and begin water remediation efforts immediately.

We are available 24/7 and can be reached at (423) 926-9251. We understand what a catastrophe it can be when your home is flooded, which is why we are here to help clean up the mess and guide you in what to do next.

Spotless Carpet Cleaners provides professional carpet, tile and hardwood floor cleaning, as well as water and fire restoration to homeowners and businesses in Kingsport, and Johnson City, Tennessee.