As the cold weather is really hitting most of the country, it's important to remember that your pipes need protecting, both inside the home and out. Cold weather can freeze your pipes, causing them to burst. These damages are very expensive to fix both inside and outside the house. In fact, it can cause more than $5000 in water damage when the arctic winds start blowing. If you are looking to use your money for something other than calling plumbers to fix your pipes, you need to start by protecting them.

In the Yard

Before the really cold weather comes, it is important to unhook hoses from faucets. If left, the hose will hold water close into the faucet and not let it totally drain. The water will expand and cause a lot of damage. Other tips to prevent outdoor pipes from freezing are:

  • Blow out sprinkler lines
  • Drain swimming pools
  • Cover the ground with insulation, like hay, where the pipes are buried too shallow

Watch pipes that may be in the home, but not really heated. These include areas like unfinished basements, garages, and crawl spaces. Wrap these pipes in newspapers, electric heat tape, or make sure that warm air is circulating around these pipes. Also try to insulate as best as possible by keeping the garage door closed and insulating with newspaper and pipe sleeves on the pipes in the basements or crawl spaces.

In the Home

It is important to know that pipes can freeze inside the home, just like outside. If the home drops below 32 degrees, pipes in the home are at a high risk for freezing. The recommendation though is to make sure that even when you are gone on vacation, make sure that your thermostat is never set below 55 degrees. Other things to do to protect your pipes are to:

  • Use pipe sleeves on vulnerable pipes, especially areas with a "U" shape
  • Since standing water is more likely to freeze, let the water trickle when weather is especially cold
  • Keep cabinet doors open to encourage warm air circulation
  • Add extra insulation to the home

 The best way to protect your home from water damage during the winter is to prevent your pipes from freezing. It's important to protect pipes that are both outside and inside the home. Make sure that you protect them all or you may be spending your tax refund on fixing all the damage. Make sure to check with professionals from places like Action Plumbing & Heating for more ideas.