Throughout the Southeast, we may not frequently be in danger of blizzards, but the temperatures can often drop below freezing, and this can damage the pipes if they aren’t properly taken care of. As we approach cooler temperatures, here are some home maintenance tips to save your money and your home from expensive repair projects.

Keep your pipes from freezing by following these steps:

  1. Disconnect your hoses from the outside faucets, otherwise, with water still in the hoses, there’s no place for water from the faucet, or water line to drain. Freezing water expands and cracks the pipes, which can create a huge mess and damage the walls of your home.
  2. Purchase some insulated sleeves from the hardware store and cover exposed water lines and pipes in the garage, basement, attic or outside to keep them from freezing.
  3. Insulate or caulk cracks on your bathroom and kitchen pipes.
  4. Let warm air circulate by leaving the bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors slightly open. At the same time, leave your faucets dripping to reduce water pressure. It may increase your water bill now, but it will cost you less than an expensive repair later.

If your pipes do freeze, then check for leaks and turn on all the faucets to determine which ones still work. If one faucet has a small trickle and the other faucets are gushing, then there may be a frozen pipe in your house. First, hold a hair dryer a few inches from the pipe and run the hair dryer back and forth, then pour a tablespoon of salt with no water down the drain of the trickling sink.

If you continue to have a trickling faucet, leaks or frozen pipes, call a licensed plumber.

Check back with us for more home maintenance tips at www.AtlantaRealEstateForum.com.