Winter Plumbing Wisdom

5 Essential Tips to Safeguard Your Outer Banks Home from Freezing Temps

We’re in winter mode now, and while the Outer Banks of North Carolina may not experience freezing temperatures frequently, it’s crucial to be proactive in protecting your plumbing from the potential hazards of cold weather. Freezing temperatures can pose a threat to both outdoor and indoor plumbing, making it essential to stay informed and prepared. Here are 5 detailed tips to safeguard your plumbing system from the challenges of winter.

Repair Leaks Promptly

Water expands when it freezes, which can exert increased pressure on your pipes and reduce the space between the ice and closed faucets. This heightened pressure can lead to ruptured pipes. Addressing leaks promptly is vital regardless of the season. If a leaky area freezes during winter, the likelihood of the leak expanding increases, making repairs more costly. Regularly inspect your plumbing for leaks (ask us about Moen Flo!) and take swift action to prevent potential issues.

It’s Okay to Let Your Faucet Drip

Before heading to bed, especially if the forecast predicts temperatures falling below freezing, consider allowing any water source on an outside wall to drip (just a trickle!). This continuous flow of water reduces the risk of freezing because the water is in constant motion. Additionally, letting the faucet drip can act as a preventive measure against burst pipes, as the pressure is less likely to build up between the faucet and an ice formation.

Open Your Cabinets

Maximize the flow of heat in your home by opening cabinets beneath sinks, especially those located along exterior walls. Allowing warm air to circulate around your pipes minimizes the chances of water freezing within them. This simple yet effective step can be crucial in protecting your plumbing during the winter months.

Protect Your Outdoor Faucets

For outdoor showers or spigots, dripping water may not be sufficient to prevent freezing. Instead, remove hoses and other attachments, turn off the valve serving that fixture, and open the fixture to release any remaining water. Return to the main shut-off valve, place a bucket underneath, open the drain plug, and let any remaining water drain out. Don’t forget to replace the drain plug to complete the process.

Insulate Your Pipes

Add an extra layer of protection against freezing by insulating exposed pipes along exterior walls and outside your home. Insulation tubes made from materials like fiberglass or polyethylene are effective in preventing heat loss and protecting pipes from the cold. Ensuring that all unheated areas of your home with pipes are adequately insulated can significantly reduce the risk of frozen pipes.

Did you know that during the winter, North Carolina homes are not immune to the risk of frozen pipes? Insurance industry studies have found that water damage from frozen/cracked plumbing pipes rank second, right behind hurricanes in terms of homes damaged and the amount of claims filed.  Yikes!

Protect your pipes, protect your home.  Learn more about our comprehensive winterizing service and feel free to contact us with any questions. We’re here to help ensure your plumbing stays in top condition throughout the winter. Stay warm and worry-free this season!