The temperature does not drop below freezing very often in Georgia, but when it does, the water in your home plumbing can expand and cause pipes to break. Even tiny cracks can release hundreds of gallons of water a day, which will cause your bill to skyrocket and cause flooding and structural damage to your home.
To avoid a possible home maintenance disaster, follow these recommended steps before the onset of cold weather:
- Cover outdoor water valves and spigots when temperatures dip below 32 degrees. A fitted plastic cover can be found at most hardware and home improvement stores, but tape and cardboard wrapped around the spigot can be just as effective.
- Wrap exposed water pipes in the basement or crawl space. This insulates them against freezing and helps to prevent water waste by keeping the water in the pipes warmer.
- Invest in a water heater blanket, available at most hardware and home improvement stores. This can also save water and help cut water and heating bills.
- Turn off your irrigation system at the main control and open each valve until the entire system drains of water. After the system is drained, close each valve and leave the system shut off until early spring.
- Open cabinet doors when temperatures dip below 32 degrees to expose pipes to heat.
- Drip the faucet overnight in order to prevent freezing.
- If you notice your pipes are frozen, shut off the water at your main shut off valve and allow the pipes to thaw. Once thawed, have a licensed plumber come out to assess the damage and make repairs.
- Shut off your main water valve and turn on a faucet to allow all the water in the pipes to drain out anytime you are leaving the home overnight.