Preventing Frozen Pipes: Is It Necessary in Louisiana?
Contrary to the popular belief in other parts of the country, it does, in fact, get cold in Louisiana. During the winter months, this can mean major problems to your plumbing. For homeowners in Sugar Land and Houston, there is a good chance that your home has exposed pipes, which means an even bigger chance of your pipes freezing as the temperature drops below freezing.
There are three main reasons that pipes freeze in Louisiana homes. These include drastic drops in temperature (and we all know this NEVER happens down here), poor insulation, and thermostats set too low. Broken pipes – whether due to freezing or other issues – are a huge problem and account for millions of dollars in damage each year. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting in your Houston or Sugar Land home.
Your best bet with frozen pipes is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. Performing the following will help keep your exposed pipes from trouble during the winter months.
- Insulate your Exposed Pipes – Sugar Land and Houston homes are notorious for exposed pipes on the exterior of homes. This can be great for easy maintenance, but can be a major issue during the cold. Insulation wraps are fairly inexpensive and easy to install. Take the time to wrap your pipes before the winter months. Tip: The more wrap you use, the more insulated your pipes will be.
- Fix Leaky Pipes – Seal any leaks that could allow cold air near non-exposed pipes. Vents, electrical wiring, and other pipes can allow air into and around your water pipes. Use caulk to make sure any holes are closed off.
- Shut Off Outdoor Faucets – Disconnect any garden hoses, and if at all possible, shut off the water supply to outdoor faucets. This can help prevent the freezing and expansion of water on pipes just inside the home.
When the Temperature Drops
While common knowledge for those in the northern latitudes, many people in the South forget this easy step since they seldom have to deal with extreme cold. Even when taking the above precautions, there are still a couple of things you can do to even further prevent freezing pipes.
- Let It Trickle – Running water will not freeze as easily as stopped pipes. Let a trickle of water drip from your outdoor pipes (and indoor as well) during the night when it starts getting extremely cold to prevent freezing.
- Maintain the Temperature – Many people like to turn the thermostat down while they sleep since they are snuggled up under the blankets. The added temperature drop (added to the outside temps) can mean a greater chance of freezing. Keep the thermostat steady during the day and nighttime hours.
While not as common in Louisiana, the temperature can hit freezing levels, and our exposed pipes can be a major issue for people in Sugar Land and Houston. While the above steps can help prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting, nothing is fool-proof. If your pipes have cracked or burst due to weather or any other reason, contact Mock Plumbing today! We can fix any plumbing problems and help you understand the cause so you can prevent it from happening again in the future. For residents in Sugar Land, Houston, and the surrounding communities, call Mock Plumbing at 225-317-1992 or fill out our contact form!