It's that time again, when temperatures are dropping each night below freezing in metro Atlanta. It's not just the standing water outside that freezes. If you're not careful, it could be the water lines inside your home, too. But there are easy steps you can take today to save the hassle and expense of frozen and burst pipes this winter.
Set Faucets to a Trickle
When temperatures are sure to fall below freezing, set faucets in kitchens and baths to a slow trickle overnight. Letting the water drip may not be enough to avoid frozen pipes. This is especially helpful on faucets located on outer walls in older homes that may have less efficient insulation.
Open Cabinet Doors
Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate, especially at night.
Close and cover basement windows and foundation vents. Look for small open areas caused by house settling, and seal them, too.
Close the Garage Door
Keep garage doors closed. In some cases, this act alone will keep the temperature in the garage a full 10 degrees warmer than outside, and it will certainly help maintain the temperature inside your home. It also might save a few dollars on heating costs.
Turn Off Outdoor Water
Turn off water to outside spigots by using the valve(s) inside your home. Allow the water to run, draining all the remaining water. Use insulating spigot covers for further protection. These are particularly helpful if the spigots need to stay on periodically for livestock or other needs.
Drain Sprinkler System
Turn off the sprinkler system as soon as the grass goes dormant for winter. Blow compressed air through the lines to drain them completely.
Put Garden Hoses Away For the Season
Disconnect all garden hoses. Leaving them connected to the house can cause them to freeze, damaging not just the hose, but also causing water to back up and freeze inside the house. Drain the hoses appropriately before storing for the winter.
Insulate the Well House
If your home is on a well, do a quick maintenance check on the well house's insulation. We know of several homeowners in the area that experienced frozen lines inside well houses in just the past week. If a line does freeze, a small space heater can be used to melt the water inside the pipe before it bursts, hopefully avoiding costly repairs.
Be Ready to Turn Off the Main Water Valve
Locate the main water cut-off and be ready to turn it off if a pipe does freeze. You may be able to avoid a big mess if you catch it early enough. Use a hair dryer or space heater to thaw the pipe before it bursts.
This winter, a small bit of preparation could save huge expense and extensive, messy repairs. If you haven't taken these small steps yet, now is the time. It's chilly out there. Stay warm and dry metro Atlanta!
Peggy Slappey Properties, Inc. is a Metro Atlanta real estate brokerage with more than 35 years of experience in real estate sales and marketing. From new home construction to resales, we can help you find the home of your dreams. To see our current listings, visit www.psponline.com and call us for expert advice at 770-271-5555. Keep up to date with the latest PSP events and offers by checking in on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/peggyslappeyproperties and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/psponline.