Water expands when it freezes and can shatter pipe seals or the pipes themselves, sending water pouring through your house if ice forms. You can avoid thousands of dollars of damage to your home by taking a few simple measures to protect your home:
- Use faucet covers, wrap rags, paper, trash bags or plastic foam around faucets and outdoor pipes.
- Cover any vents around your home´s foundation.
- Protect outdoor electrical pumps and bring water hoses indoors.
- Open the cabinets under the sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow heated indoor air to circulate around water pipes.
- Insulate your outdoor water meter box and be sure its lid is secure.
- If you have a swimming pool, either drain the circulation system or keep the pump motor running. Run the pump motor only in a short freeze. Running the motor for long periods could cause damage.
- Let faucets drip, but do not run a big stream of water.
- If you leave town, consider turning off your water at the shut-off valve while faucets are running to drain your pipes. Make sure the faucets are turned off before you turn the shut-off valve back on.
- If you drain your pipes, contact your electric or gas utility for instructions on protecting your water heater.