Frozen Pipes In Warm Climates

The season is changing and winter is on its way. And that means it’s time to think about protecting your home from the incoming elements, including freeze-proofing your pipes – even if you live in a warmer climate.

That’s right, winter weather can freeze water pipes in warm weather states. It doesn’t have to be bitter cold. Temperatures only need to drop to about 20ºF for a few hours to put an exposed pipe at risk. And most states will experience those types of temps at least once or twice each winter.

So What Can You Do?

Homes in warmer climates often have water pipes located in uninsulated areas such as attics, crawl spaces or exterior walls. The best way to keep these pipes from freezing is to keep them from being exposed to the cold. Here’s how:

  • Insulate your walls.
  • Cover exposed pipes in crawl spaces or attics with insulation sleeves.
  • Re-route pipes to an inside wall.
  • Seal cracks in the foundation or walls that let cold air in.
  • Keep cabinet doors open below your sinks to allow warm air in.

Here Comes the Cold!

If a cold snap is fast on the way and you don't have time to take all the recommended steps, you can still help prevent frozen pipes with a simple turn of the faucet handle. Open your faucets just slightly to allow a small flow of water. Moving water is less likely to freeze, and it relieves excess pressure that builds if freezing does occur.

Winterize Your Vacation Home

Do you own a vacation home in a warm climate? Take time to winterize before you leave for the season. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your home while you’re gone:

  • Keep the heat on low.
  • Drain all pipes and water heater. 
  • Insulate pipes in crawl spaces and other uninsulated areas.
  • Pour non-toxic antifreeze in toilet tanks. (Only use antifreeze rated for plumbing systems.)
  • Locate and seal air leaks around windows, electrical outlets, doors and foundation. 
  • Install storm windows or insulator kits for an extra layer of protection on your windows.
  • Cover outside faucets with an insulated cup or install "freeze-proof" faucets.
  • Increase the amount of insulation in your walls, attic and crawl spaces.

No matter where you live or how cold it gets – or doesn’t get – a little proactive protection can help keep your home safe and cozy. Happy winter!

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