How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Pipes?
Georgia weather is notorious for its unpredictability. One night it may be below freezing, and the next could night the low may only be in the mid-60s. It can be hard to know exactly how to protect your pipes during the awkward winter temperature fluctuations of the South. The ultimate goal, of course, is to prevent a burst pipe accident that can flood your home and cause major property damage. On average, frozen pipe damage can cost up to $5,000. Luckily, preventing that catastrophe is fairly inexpensive, with pipe insulation costing as little as 50¢ per foot.
As the plumbing experts in South Atlanta, we’re happy to provide a little cheat sheet to make sure you’re covered throughout the winter.
Keep an eye out for when temperatures drop to around 20° Fahrenheit.
In southern states where freezing weather is the exception rather than the rule (and where houses often do not provide adequate built-in protection), the “temperature alert threshold” is 20°F. That means that you need to start protecting your pipes even if the weather is slightly higher than 20°.
Protect exposed pipes.
This includes pipes on the outside of the house, in the attic, and in crawl spaces. These exposed pipes can be fitted with insulation sleeves or wrapping. The more insulation the better. Not sure if you have exposed pipes? Hammond Services can come out to help you identify the vulnerabilities.
Start a “Drip Campaign.”
Letting your faucets drip during extreme cold can prevent a pipe from freezing and bursting. Opening the faucet will provide relief from the pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs.
What to Do When a Pipe Does Burst
If you suspect you may have a burst pipe (you turn on a faucet and no water comes out), shut off your main water valve, and call a certified plumber immediately.
NOTE: It’s a good idea to make sure everyone living in your home knows where the main valve is located, so when an emergency strikes everyone knows how to deal with it.