The South Texas region’s mild weather leads many homeowners to assume they’re safe from frozen pipes. The fact is, homes in the southern US may be particularly vulnerable. Their pipes are frequently located in uninsulated, unheated attics and crawlspaces, or on cold slabs, where they have little protection. Ice inside your pipes doesn’t just block water flow; pressure resulting from the backup can actually cause the pipes to burst. Use these tips to help prevent freezing, or to prevent damage in the event freezing occurs:
- Seal and insulate your attic and crawl space. In addition to saving on heating costs, adequate insulation helps to keep the water in your pipes from freezing. So does sealing your attic to keep cold outside air out.
- Encourage air flow inside your home. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to let warm, heated air flow around your pipes. Keeping bathrooms warm can help, too.
- Let your cold-water faucets drip once temperatures dip toward 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the smallest trickle discourages freezing by keeping water moving through your pipes. To avoid overflows, check your sinks and tubs periodically to make sure the water is draining.
- Take precautions before you leave your home vacant during the winter. Keep your thermostat set to 55 degrees F, and ask a neighbor to look in at least once each day to make sure your heating and plumbing systems are functioning.
- If your pipes freeze, immediately turn the water off at your home’s main valve. Defrost the frozen pipes using a heat gun. A hair dryer works — albeit not as quickly — if a heat gun is unavailable. Never use a torch or other open flame on frozen pipes.
Count on Mathews CCAC for all your insulation and heating needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your home this winter.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about frozen pipes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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