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Simple tips to avoid burst pipes when winter weather strikes

Mailboxes Covered in Snow

With winter fast approaching, homeowners everywhere need to take precautions and protect their properties from the damaging effects of frigid weather. Especially in the Mid-Atlantic states, where temperatures are known to fluctuate rapidly and wild winter storms are practically commonplace, residents need to make seasonal preparedness a priority before it's too late.

One of the most costly oversights homeowners make going into the colder months is neglecting to properly maintain their property's plumbing. Because the pipes in your house are generally out of sight, taking proper care of them may not be on the top of your list of things to do. This is a huge mistake, because weather-related plumbing damage often means a lot more than just dealing with new pipes. Should a system burst, water damage may result in the need for renovations to entire rooms, from new walls and flooring to furniture and appliances.

Throughout winter, be sure to keep an eye on water pressure. If the flow of water in your plumbing system seems to be restricted at all, then this might be a sign that freezing has already occurred in your pipes. Instead of ignoring weak flow from faucets throughout the house, contact a plumber immediately to make sure you're not on the verge of dealing with a major burst due to a buckling pipe.

A good way to avoid this is to keep the water in your plumbing moving on the coldest nights of winter, as only still water freezes. A good way to do this is to keep a small stream running from your faucets overnight - not so much that you're going to face a ridiculous utility bill, but more than just a light drip.

As well, you may think that keeping the heat down and bundling up at night is the best way to save yourself money on utility bills, but in the long run, skimping on the thermostat may only cost you more. Keep the thermos around at least a comfortable 55 degrees throughout the winter so that your pipes don't fall prey to Jack Frost.

These simple steps may seem small, but the difference they make will be huge in protecting your home in the long run.