HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Freezing temperatures are on the way for the Houston area. Are you ready for them? Some cold weather preparation products are already sold out in stores. For instance, the shelf where plankets (waterproof plant blankets) used to be is now bare at The Home Depot location on the 610 West Loop near Pin Oak Park in southwest Houston. Plants aren’t the only ones that need to be protected from the cold.
"If the pipe is not covered, it can freeze and break,” explains Master Plumber Aaron Kurka from the The Home Depot and no homeowner wants that. Kurka says that every outside exposed pipe at your home, such as spigots and sprinkler system water pipes, need to be covered with insulation and duct tape before the temperature drops to freezing. Kurka says you also want to first prepare your sprinkler system.
"You need to turn it off and drain it," adds Kurka. "In the ground, you should have a yard box. There’s a valve in there. You’re going to turn that off...You’re going to turn it off and then you’re going to go open zone one. By opening zone one, then opening the bleeder valve, it’s going to drain this whole system so it doesn’t freeze.”
If you aren’t likely to get outside and do it yourself, companies such as Abacus Plumbing are keeping busy over the next couple days preparing homes before freezing temperatures hit Houston.
"We’re protecting the raw plumbing on the outside exterior of the wall,” explains Kevin Nunez from Abacus Plumbing.
Think of it this way, your pipes need a coat, if you will, and you have to slip on the outerwear before Mother Nature’s bitter cold over the weekend. The insulation simply needs to be cut to fit and duct taped on and the hard plastic spigot covers, which cost less than $2 at the hardware store, pop on in seconds.
The professionals say you can also use towels to wrap the pipes and duct tape them on to keep exposed water pipes warm. Nunez suggests to also open your cabinet doors to help keep pipes in the wall warm. A busted pipe can cost you hundreds of dollars.
Remember, it’s important to protect people, pets and plants during the freeze.