Winter is here, and that means runny noses, stormy weather and bursting pipes. "Freezing temperatures breeds problems for broken pipes" said Home Depot Plumbing Supervisor Joseph Carney. When temperatures get below 32 degrees water freezes, and so can your exposed pipes putting them at risk of bursting, costing hundreds of dollars in repairs. "You're looking at a really hefty plumbing bill if you don't know what you're doing, you will have to replace all the pipes that were broken and you're also looking at water damage" said Carney.
To prevent that from happening, insulate exposed pipes with foam tubing. When temperatures reach freezing levels, you can open the faucet to let water drip slowly, moving water is less likely to freeze and also helps keep pressure from building. You can also leave cabinet doors under sinks slightly open to help keep pipes warm. But pipes aren't the only things vulnerable, plants are too. "It's a good thing to just cover them with anything you have like a tarp, burlap, even a plastic bag for the night, a garbage bag will work just fine. Just get something covered so that dew doesn't get on there, settle and freeze" Carney explained. Keeping the plants adequately watered will also help insulate the roots and adding mulch helps provide warmth.
And don't forget about your pets. Shelters are a necessity, and heated water bowls will keep water from freezing. Animal specialists say it's best to bring pets indoors during freezing temperatures, but if that's not an option, at least provide adequate bedding to help insulate their shelter.