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Taking Care of Your Water Pipes

Oct 10, 2007
Living in your first home can be an exhilarating experience, but when the winter gets to your area, you may forget about some things that you can do to keep your water pipes from bursting. In fact, you may not think of this at all, since you are probably not used to maintaining a home that belongs to you.

Your home is an investment and you should take care of it as much as you can, since you may want to sell it later in exchange for another. Your parents probably insulated the pipes in your home when you were younger, but you probably did not really get the significance of this at the time.

When it gets colder than 20 degrees outside, the water pipes that are exposed to these temperatures are likely to freeze and burst. If you are not home at the time, like off on vacation for Christmas or another holiday, this can wreak havoc on your water bill if you do not get home and fix the problem soon and it can also cause a significant amount of water damage to your home in the process.

Any pipes that will be exposed to this weather that you can get to should be insulated in some way. You can do this by wrapping them in cloth or preferably a construction grade of insulation. A good amount of cloth will help in a pinch, though.

Inside your home, the pipes underneath the different sinks in the house can be kept warm by opening the cabinets so the heat in the house can get to them. Keeping a space heater near exposed pipes in your basement could also be a good idea, but use extreme caution when using space heaters, since they can catch on fire.

You can use an extension cord with a space heater, but it needs to be a pretty heavy duty one and most homes do not keep extension cords as heavy duty as the kind needed around often. Place space heaters in your home very carefully and if possible, do not use them on carpeted surfaces.

You can also leave a trickle of water running out of the faucets when the temperatures outside get this low. It might add a little bit to the water bill, but it is only necessary to do this when the temperature gets below freezing, especially at night.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of
Texas Water Damage Restoration and
Houston Water Damage Restoration Which are Certified IICRC Water damage and mold remediation contractors.
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