Winterizing Your Home In Texas (Plumbing Tips)
One of the easiest ways to winterize your home in Texas is to leave the heat in your home on but at a low setting. While this may cause your heating bill to rise slightly, it is still cheaper than having to deal with busted plumbing. Not to mention that leaving the heat on will help to protect the structure of the home because the extreme cold can damage the furniture, wood trim, and various other appliances.
Skip Ahead to Topic
- 1 Winterizing Your Home In Texas
- 1.1 Winterizing Your Home In Texas (Plumbing Tips)
However, we understand that leaving the heat on may not work for all homes, and in many cases, it may not even be enough. If the plumbing is exposed or the home isn’t well insulated, you will have to take steps to properly winterize it. In this article, we’ll look at how to go about winterizing your home to prepare it for the Texas winter.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
You never want the plumbing to freeze because that will mean busted pipes. Freezing pipes causes the connection between them to split, break, or crack. When the water in the pipes freezes, it tends to expand and that takes up more space as compared to when it is liquid. While you may think that freezing makes stuff contract, this is not entirely true. Now even though that is true for the pipe, it isn’t true for the water inside. So, the pipes are contracting while the water is expanding.
The expansion vs. the contraction increases the pressure within the pipes, which then has nowhere to go, and that is what causes the pipes to break. So, winterizing your home will require that you make sure that the pipes don’t freeze.
Repair All Cracks on the Exterior
Now, if there are cracks along the home’s foundation or across the ceilings and walls, it will allow cold air to get inside which will cause the water pipes to freeze. Texas nights are pretty cold with temperatures in January and February dipping to sub-zero during the night. This freezing will increase the pressure in the pipes causing them to rupture. That’s why make sure to inspect your exterior walls and ceilings for cracks, use caulk or some spray foam to fill them up.
Insulate all the Pipes
Insulated pipes will reduce the amount of condensation on them and prevent freezing. Fiberglass or polyethylene insulation sleeves work best, are cheap and easy to install. However, as an extra measure, you can wrap all the pipes in heat tape, which raises the temperature of the pipes and will further reduce the risk of them freezing.
Open Your Cabinets
Leave your vanity cabinets open as well as those underneath the sink. Doing this allows warm air indoors to flow onto the pipes. If there isn’t enough heat in these locations, perhaps consider adding a small space heater and turning it own when temperatures dip below zero. However, as a precautionary measure, you shouldn’t leave these space heaters unattended in an area that’s small and enclosed. Especially avoid putting it near paper towels and other flammable materials.
You should start winterizing your home in Texas somewhere around October at the latest. Make sure to get a plumber to inspect your water and sewerage lines to ensure that they are leak-free because doing that will prevent further, more extensive damage.