Avoid bursting water pipes with 7 quick tips

Posted at 3:59 PM, Jan 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 12:01:45-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As temperatures jump in and out of freezing, plumbers and water restoration experts remind Tennesseans to take a few steps to keep their homes and commercial properties dry.

SERVPRO Owner Robert Dixon said the calls started pouring in thanks to the cold temperatures from Thursday's snowfall.

"It can be a mess. And so I would say that just this is an ounce of prevention pound of cure because dealing with the headache of cleaning up a water damage drying out a home, doing all the repairs," he explained. "Nobody expects those things to happen. Nobody wants those things to happen, but they do."

SERVPRO Owner Robert Dixon

Here are four tips for protecting pipes outside your home or building:

  1. Disconnect garden hoses
  2. Wrap outside faucets
  3. Caulk around pipes where they enter the building
  4. Drain in-ground sprinkler systems

"Outside, probably the biggest thing you can do is your spigots," said Dixon. "Cover your spigots with they make the little covers that you can buy on Amazon or Lowe's, put on your spigots, you know set a reminder on your phone every October 30st to go out there and put those on and, you know, they're three or $4 apiece. And that can help prevent damage so that your outside spigots, don't freeze up and then and burst and cause damage in a crawlspace or in the house."

Dixon recommends also checking vents like those attached to water heaters to ensure there is not ice or snow buildup preventing proper ventilation.

Here are three tips for protecting pipes inside your home or building:

  1. Let faucets drip to keep water flowing through pipes when it is below freezing
  2. Open cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathrooms
  3. Shut off and drains water system if leaving for several days

"We get a lot of calls on Sunday nights when people are coming back in from vacation, and ‘Hey, this happened,'" explained Dixon. And if he had to pick one, "of everything I said, I'd probably drip the pipes just to keep that water moving inside the pipes so that it won't freeze up and cause those damages and so that that's the lowest effort on the list."

For larger vents, Dixon said to ensure they stay closed during the winter to prevent cold air from blowing in.