Winter is here, and with temperatures dipping well below 32 degrees, it's time to think about your pipes, and protecting them from freezing. " Water condensation on the pipe would actually allow that pipe to expand and then break", said Home Depot plumbing associate Michael Nieman.
Exposed pipes are most at risk of freezing and rupturing, causing hundreds, even thousand of dollars worth of repairs. " If we don't take care of this situation, we're talking about some major plumbing issues, a very expensive route to go because we're gonna be replacing pipes", said Nieman. To prevent that, insulate exposed pipes with foam tubing. You can also open outdoor faucets to a slow drip to keep pressure from building. Leaving cabinet doors under sinks slightly open will also help keep pipes warm.
But it's not just pipes that are at risk... plants are too. " You can cover it with frost cloth, you can put a cardboard box over it if it's small enough, you can put a plastic pot over it, anything you have", said The Plant Barn manager Rebecca Yarrow. Keeping the plant soil moist will also help insulate the roots and adding mulch will help provide warmth.
And perhaps most important is your pets, if unable to bring them inside, shelters are a must that will protect from the frost and the wind. Many pets won't show signs of being cold, and often their fur coats don't cut it in freezing temperatures. " A lot of time we even assume they can handle the cold because of their hair, we've domesticated dogs and cats so much that they just don't have the ability to keep themselves warm like they used to", explained Butte Humane Associate Lori Wells. Older and younger pets are most at risk. Animal experts say you should also give pets access to running water that won't freeze.
Aside from your pets, plants and pipes, police say they also see an increase in car thefts during the winter months because of drivers leaving their cars unlocked and running to warm the engine.