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Protect Your Pipes This Winter

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This old saying is even more true when you are preparing your home for winter. Freezing temperatures can lead to a burst pipe. Even more insidious is a crack resulting from a frozen pipe that you don’t readily see. This can result in a leak and water damage and mold that you don’t find until later. 

Here are some tips that will help protect your pipes during freezing temperatures.

Outside Your Home

  • Drain water from exterior pipes. Drain and store outdoor hoses. 
  • Turn off your irrigation system
  • Protect exposed exterior pipes with insulation, fabric, or even newspaper
  • Seal holes and cracks around the exterior of the house. A spray foam works wonderfully to insulate small holes where cable and phone lines enter. Caulk any cracks around windows and doors. 
  • Keep your garage door closed.


  • Know where your main water shut off is located. This is not something you want to be scrambling to find if a pipe should happen to burst.
  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl space or attic. 
  • Keep water dripping if the temperature is extremely frigid. Make sure both hot and cold lines are running. 
  • Open cabinets under sinks to allow warm air to reach the pipes more easily.

What to do if a pipe freezes.

  • Shut off the water supply.
  • Apply heat to the frozen pipe. A hairdryer works well for this. Avoid open flames or kerosene heaters.
  • Turn the water back on slowly. Check for any cracks or leaks.

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