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Did You Winterize Your Home?

In cold weather don’t forget the pipes!

Winter weather inflicts many problems on homeowners: shoveling driveways, storms knocking out power, clearing away branches brought down by ice and snow. But problems can present inside the house, too. The worst is when water pipes freeze.When water freezes, it expands, meaning the pipes that could contain it aren’t big enough to hold it. Homeowners will notice a decrease in water pressure or no water pressure at all. The most important thing to do is locate the frozen pipes and work to thaw them before they crack or burst. Frozen pipes are most likely to be found along the exterior walls or where the water service enters the house.

Once you’ve found the frozen pipe, it’s important to try to thaw it. This can be done a number of different ways, depending on what you have available. A portable heater can work in areas that are fairly easy to reach as can a blow dryer. For smaller spaces, try wrapping an electric heating pad around the pipes or towels soaked in hot water. If you can’t reach the frozen pipe, contact a licensed plumber immediately to avoid a mess.

If you have one frozen pipe there may be more, so check the other faucets around the house. Keeping kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open can help heat circulate to the pipes to keep them from freezing in the future. Keep the garage door shut, especially if a water line runs through the garage. Consider leaving faucets on to drip. Just a small amount of water running through the pipes can keep them from freezing. But the most important thing you can do is make sure you have a professional plumber insulate your pipes.

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