The extreme cold weather can wreak havoc on your pipes. Experts anticipate lots of frozen and burst water lines.
One eighth-inch (3 millimeters) crack in a pipe can spray more than 250 gallons of water a day -- ruining floors, carpets, furniture and irreplaceable personal belongings. Also, pipes can freeze anywhere due to exposure from cracks or holes in siding or because of pipes being placed in outside walls with inadequate insulation.
There are things that you, the homeowner, can do to be as pro-active as possible.
Insulate pipes in your home's crawl space or attic.
Seal leaks that allow cold air inside.
Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
If you are going away for an extended period of time, be sure to maintain adequate heat inside your home - no lower than 55 degrees.
When it's especially cold, let the hot and cold faucets drip overnight and open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks on exterior walls.
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