With the cold coming, plumbing services may be an area of home maintenance that slips the minds of many property owners. It is easy for pipes to be "out of sight, out of mind" in the winter. However, this could lead to significant costs and damage.

Why Do Pipes Burst

As the temperature drops, water tends to expand as it freezes. The expansion creates pressure within the plumbing in a home. When the pressure gets to be too much for a pipe to take, the pipe ruptures. The pipes that are prone to rupture are those that are external (ex. irrigation system, pool lines) or against an external wall. Those that reside in less insulated parts of the home, such as a basement, are also vulnerable.

How to Protect Pipes

To prevent pipes from experiencing a rise in pressure before the cold, there are a few measures a homeowner can take. First, homeowners can drain all water from external pipelines. Make sure to cut off valves from inside that provide water to the outside lines, keeping the outside valves open to allow water to escape. Next, locate those pipes that are the most vulnerable to the weather. Another option, still, is having the pipes insulated.

What to Do in Cold Weather

If cold weather is already affecting the home, here are several tips to help prevent damage. First, keep garage doors closed. This will help insulate a normally cooler area and will keep pipes safe. Second, open cabinet doors that contain pipes so heat from the home can help keep them warm. Next, keep the thermostat set to a consistent temperature. Finally, the universal rule for pipes when the weather turns to freezing is to let the faucets drip.

If you're facing an especially tricky plumbing scenario, Ragsdale plumbing can help with all of a home's plumbing repairs, including pipes that have burst. But why wait until there is a problem to call? Have your plumbing inspected before the weather turns cold via Ragsdale's plumbing services.

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