HOUSTON - A big freeze can lead to big problems if homeowners don’t take the time to wrap the pipes outside their homes.
Keith Carter with Village Plumbing uses tube insulation to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
“When stagnant water just sits on the line and freezes below zero or a little higher, you have issues,” he says.
He says the tubing runs less than two bucks a piece, and most houses only need about twenty bucks worth to prevent thousands of dollars in damage. He reinforces the tubing with duct tape to prevent wear and tear from animals, lawnmowers and heat. If installed properly, the insulation should last for at least three years.
Carter adds that homeowners must also remember to run their water. "Your showers, your tubs, your sinks- you need to have a drip going at all times whenever it’s freezing outside," he adds.
Next, don’t leave the rest of your plumbing out in the cold. Sprinkler and outdoor water filtration systems run the same risk of freeze damage.
"It’s a membrane inside of it, check valves inside of it- all that can get frozen if it holds water,” he says.
Finally, styrofoam boxes are another quick, cheap way to protect outside faucets. They come with drawstrings for a flush closure to against the wall and can be found at most home improvement stores.
"It takes about 30 seconds to do it if you know how to do it,” says Carter.
“After the first one, you’ll be able to do the rest around the house."
He says to remember to protect everything that’s in the elements before it’s too late, and if you have an issue or need a hand, call a plumber.