How to Protect Against Frozen Pipes
Because Texas has mild winters, taking precautions to prevent frozen pipes might seem excessive. However, it takes just one period of freezing temperatures for pipes to burst, leading to very expensive damage.
Before temperatures dip below 20o, be prepared by:
Insulate exposed pipes. It is common for a home to be built with exposed pipes and minimal to no insulation. Look at pipes where home heating does not reach such as crawl spaces, garages, swimming pools, and attics, which are most susceptible to freezing. Wrap insulating material such as foam over the entire length of exposed pipe. This inexpensive material is available at hardware stores.
Seal cracks and drafts. Sealing leaks of cold air in areas where exposed pipes are located will reduce the chance for a pipe burst.
Disconnect and drain hoses. This allows any water in the pipes to drain through the spigot. Best to store your hose to prevent damage from the cold elements.
Let faucets drip and open cabinets. When temperatures plummet below freezing, allow water to drip from each faucet. Also, open the cabinets so heat can reach pipes under the sink.
Thermostat should always be on and set no lower than 55. If you plan to go out of town, it is imporant to have someone check on your home and keep the heat on at the very minimum of 55 degrees. Should pipes break and your heat was not left on, it is very possible that your insurance provider will not cover the damage.