Ask Storm Team 11: Preventing frozen pipes


Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question comes from Tony Marhsall. She asked: “What causes pipes to freeze and bust in winter like Texas had recently?”

The recent plunge of Arctic air all the way down to the Texas/Mexico border was an extreme example of Old Man Winter. It really depends on the infrastructure as to when you really have to start protecting your pipes.

In our part of the country, frigid temperatures typically near or below 15 degrees can be a recipe for disaster.

Cold air causes pipes in the exterior walls to freeze. Water expands when it freezes which can cause pipes to burst.

Here are some tips to prevent a disaster inside your home in an extreme cold snap:

  1. Add insulation to cold-prone areas around your home. Add products like a “pipe sleeve” to improve insulation in exposed pipes.
  2. Keep your home heated. If you’re not at home, don’t drop the heat below 55 degrees. Open the cabinets, especially underneath the sink, to get warmer air near your pipes.
  3. Allow a light but steady drip from a faucet or two, like the kitchen, to keep the water flowing.

Keep this in mind the next time we have bitterly cold air in our region!

Have a question for Storm Team 11? Click here to submit!

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