Protecting your home from the chill

With us still in the early part of January, you know there will be several more arctic outbreaks in the coming weeks. There are some tips for you to keep your home from "feeling the chill!"

Your best defense against frozen and burst pipes is prevention. Angie TMs List talked to some of the nation TMs leading plumbing companies about how to keep pipes from bursting in cold weather...

  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in.
  • If you suspect your pipes are freezing, wrap towels that have been soaked in hot water around cold pipe sections. Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes, and turn on faucets just enough to let them drip slowly. Keep the water moving to prevent freezing.
  • Show everyone in the house where the water shut-off valve is. If you turn your faucet on and no water comes out, leave them on and immediately call a plumber. If you TMve already discovered that your pipes have burst, keep the faucets on, but turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and call a plumber.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a blowtorch or other open flame, and do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water.
  • If you end up needing to call a plumber because of an emergency, call a plumber you know first. They'll be more responsive If you already have a working relationship. Just be prepared for an after-hours fee.
  • If you TMre going away for the holidays"or the entire winter"make sure you leave your heat on, set no lower than 55 degrees or your pipes are in danger of freezing or bursting.
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