Cold temperatures mean home winterization

With cold temperatures arriving in Mid-Missouri, homes can be susceptible to damage from freezing pipes.

Lingering water in pipes can be the cause of pipes freezing and then bursting, especially when people are traveling for holidays. Gene Hornbuckle, of Hornbuckle Heating and Cooling, said there are several things people can do to keep pipes from freezing.

One thing that is really important in winter is to make sure your outdoor water hoses are unhooked, he said. When water gets in them it can make the pipes attached freeze.

Hornbuckle also said people who have a crawl space should check to make sure everything is sealed properly.

You might also check if any critters have gotten up in there, he said. They like to get into the insulation in the summer and pull it down.

That, Hornbuckle said, can keep pipes from staying warm enough.

According to Hornbuckle, having your house warm in winter should keep the pipes from freezing on its own, but if people are still concerned, they can keep water running smoothly by letting pipes drip.

Just dont do it for a long period of time because that will cause the water to cut a groove in the pipe and that will make the pipes drip all the time, he said.

If someone is leaving town, Hornbuckle suggested having the water turned off altogether.

Just call the city and have them turn it off for the time you will be gone, he said. Then make sure you turn off your water heater, too, because elements will burn out without water in the tank.

Turning off the service valve in a home will also work, according to Hornbuckle.

People who are gone for longer periods of time can always have a plumber winterize the home.

We use compressed air and blow it through the pipes, he said. Then we pump in RV antifreeze and blow that out with the air, too. That way, if there is anything left in the pipes, it is antifreeze and it wont make the pipes burst.

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