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How To Prepare Texas Homes For Cold Weather

Now is the time to get ready for the cold
Photo: Ilya Rudzis | Shutterstock

Colder temperatures are upon us. So, while we pull out those winter coats, we have to make sure our homes are taken care of as well. The city of McKinney has posted a reminder on its website to help residents protect their homes from the cold. 

The city announced on its website that now is the time to protect your home and pipes before the winter temperatures kick in. 

“If you are a homeowner and have not taken steps to protect your pipes from freezing temperatures, now is the time to do so,” the website reads. “The city website has some useful information on how to protect your water pipes from freezing and how to turn your water off in case of an emergency.”

Pipes freezing are the number one concern during the colder months, and if they are not properly prepared, damage is likely. Water expands when it freezes, so protecting water pipes during cold weather is important for preventing extra expenses.

The pipes that are most at risk for freezing are those located outside and exposed pipes near unheated areas such as attics, crawl spaces and garages. 

Protection Suggestions

  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to expose pipes to heat within the house.
  • Let the cold and hot water run in a stream about the size of a pencil lead from any faucet served by exposed pipes or those in exterior walls. Running water through the pipe — even at a trickle — helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night. 
  • Disconnect garden hoses.
  • Please make sure your sprinkler systems are turned off. Although freeze sensors are required on all sprinkler systems to keep them from operating during icy weather, they do need to be replaced periodically.
  • Install a faucet insulator on outside spigots.
  • Install foam pipe insulation from your local hardware store over pipes at risk of freezing.
  • Cover all openings around the foundation.
  • Collect water in the event that you lose water service. Suggestions for collecting water include catching the water stream in your bathtub, buckets or cups. 
  • Check for leaks when the pipes begin to thaw if they become frozen.
  • If planning to be out of town for an extended time, turn off the water to the house and open faucets to reduce pressure.

Most importantly, if a pipe breaks, be sure to turn your water off at the main valve. If you need assistance turning off your water, contact the city of McKinney public works department at 972-547-7360.