Brrrrr it’s cold outside!

This week’s blog is by Jackie Sherry, Graduate Assistant in the Water Conservation Office

This morning I laid in bed cuddled up with blankets dreaming about laying on the beach with the sun warming my skin…then I suddenly woke up to the sound of trees and their last remaining leaves violently swaying in the wind.  The wind was so loud I thought my house was going to start swaying too!  Here in Athens, Georgia we are experiencing some very very very cold weather.  The high’s the next few days are in the 30s and the low’s are in the teens…yikes!  All I can say is brrrr it’s cold outside.

cold weather

When the weather is this cold, there are a lot of things to keep in mind.  You need to take care of yourself by layering up with long-sleeved shirts, jackets, gloves, and hats before stepping outside and you should drink at least one cup of hot chocolate a day.  Besides taking care of yourself, it is important to also think about your house, especially the pipes inside it.

Pipes often burst in cold weather because when water freezes, it expands.  This expansion puts a lot of pressure on the pipe containing the water.  That pressure is what causes the pipes to burst.  ALL pipes exposed to cold weather are susceptible to bursting!  That sounds pretty scary, but don’t worry.  Below is a list of tips you can do to prevent your pipes from bursting.broken-frozen-pipe

Before Cold Weather Hits:

  • Wrap all exposed pipes outside your house with insulating materials like commercial insulation, plastic, newspaper, or blankets
  • Wrap exposed pipes in crawl spaces with insulating materials
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets
  • Insulate outside faucets with rags, newspaper, or old blankets
  • Use blankets or newspaper to block drafty air from entering through doors and windows
  • Be aware of where the water shut-off valve is for your house.  Make sure you know how to turn it off in case a pipe bursts

When Cold Weather Hits:

  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if your water supply pipes are in the garage
  • If you have pipes hidden in kitchen or bathroom cabinets, open up the cabinets so heat can warm those pipes
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both day and night
  • If you are going out of town, leave the heat on and set it no lower than 55 degrees

I hope yall stay warm out there and remember these simple tips for keeping your home protected against cold weather.  Here is more information about preparing for cold weather!


3 thoughts on “Brrrrr it’s cold outside!

  1. In Metro Atlanta I was amazed at how many fire sprinklers in attic spaces broke. They one thing they had in common was being made from PVC. Ice trumps PVC pipe everyday and it will break. Not sure how to protect PVC pipe in unheated spaces, which means it probably isn’t a good idea in the first place.

    Also be aware if you have a sink on an exterior wall. Exterior walls are generally colder than interior walls and will freeze first.

  2. Thanks for the comment Alan. I don’t know how to protect PVC pipe wither in unheated spaces. You made a good point about sinks on exteriors walls, they would be colder and could freeze first. I had several friends in Atlanta whose pipes burst and now they are dealing with flooding issues.

  3. Pingback: Snowpocalypse 2 | Think at the Sink

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