Winter has arrived, and Lance Smith, owner of L.D. Smith Plumbing, has tips to not only keep your home protected during the cold months but also essential items to have on hand for plumbing problems throughout the year.
When outside temperatures hit below 20 degrees, pipes become vulnerable to freezing. Left unprotected, pipes can burst as they thaw and cause significant damage to your property such as flooding.
1. Insulate your pipes
Exposed pipes in basements, crawl spaces and attics are susceptible to freezing if there’s no heat source in those areas. Items to use are pipe insulation and to make sure that area has a heat source. It’s also a good idea to check these pipes periodically to ensure pipes are still covered.
2. Seal cracks
Seal cracks near pipes where there are openings to allow cold air can also reduce the possibility of freezing pipes. Most of these openings can be found near dryer vents and electrical wiring, and crawl space vents. Caulk or insulation works to seal these openings, as well as expandable spray foam.
3. Let faucets drip
When freezing temperatures are expected, turn on your water faucet to a drip. Constantly keeping a small flow in the line will greatly reduce the chances of the line freezing.
4. IMPORTANT: Know the location of your water shutoff.
If pipes are frozen, you want to know the location of your main shutoff to turn the water off right away. Also, I would recommend turning off the main shutoff when away from the home for long periods of time.
Homeowners often ask what are the essential plumbing tools to have on hand for everyday plumbing problems.
Here is Smith’s must-have list:
- Tool to unclog a slow-draining sink, tub, or shower
- Extra hose washer
- Channel lock
THIS SEGMENT IS SPONSORED BY L.D. SMITH PLUMBING.