When one thinks of winter preparations, Houston, Texas, plumbing may not be the first place that comes to mind. Known for its mild winters compared to many other parts of the country, Houston still experiences cold spells and occasional freezes during the winter months. As such, it’s essential for residents in this region to prepare their plumbing systems for the occasional drop in temperature. Today, we at Absolute P&M Services would like to share a quick guide on how to prepare your plumbing for winter in Houston, TX.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
While Houston winters are relatively mild, they can still bring freezing temperatures. One of the most critical steps in preparing your plumbing for winter is insulating exposed pipes. Use foam pipe insulation or heat tape to protect pipes located in unheated areas like attics, crawl spaces, or garages. Insulating your pipes will help prevent them from freezing and bursting.
On those rare freezing nights in Houston, allowing a slow drip from your faucets can prevent pipes from freezing. A steady flow of water, even at a trickle, can help keep the pipes from reaching the critical freezing point. It’s especially crucial for outdoor faucets and those along exterior walls.
Disconnect Garden Hoses
To prevent outdoor faucets from freezing and bursting, disconnect and drain all garden hoses. Store them in a sheltered area to keep them in good condition for the next season. If you have a shut-off valve for outdoor faucets, turn it off and drain any remaining water from the line.
Seal Any Gaps & Cracks
Inspect your home for gaps and cracks that could allow cold air to seep in and affect your plumbing. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal any openings around doors, windows, and foundation walls. This not only helps with plumbing but also makes your home more energy-efficient.
Service Your Water Heater
Your water heater works harder during the colder months, so it’s essential to ensure it’s in good working condition. Consider flushing the tank to remove sediment buildup, which can reduce efficiency. Additionally, check the temperature setting and consider lowering it slightly to save on energy costs.
Know Your Main Shut-Off Valve
In case of an emergency, it’s crucial to know the location of your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe does burst, being able to quickly turn off the water supply can prevent extensive damage to your home.
Consider Installing Pipe Heating Cables
For added protection in exceptionally cold areas, consider installing pipe heating cables. These electrically heated cables can be wrapped around vulnerable pipes to provide a consistent source of heat, preventing freezing.
Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
To ensure your plumbing system is winter-ready, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. A licensed plumber can identify potential issues and provide recommendations to prevent frozen pipes and leaks.
Plumbing Maintenance, Repairs, Replacement & More in Santa Fe, Tomball, Sugar Land, Galveston, Austin & Greater Houston, Texas
Generally, while Houston, TX, enjoys mild winters, it’s still essential to take precautions to protect your plumbing from the occasional freeze. Insulating exposed pipes, dripping faucets, and disconnecting garden hoses are simple steps that can go a long way in preventing costly damage. By following these guidelines and being proactive, you can ensure that your plumbing system remains in good working order throughout the winter months, no matter how mild or rare the freezing temperatures may be. Contact Absolute P&M Services for your plumbing and HVAC services today.