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How To Prep Your Texas House for a Winter Storm

car driving on city street after heavy winter stormAlthough winters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area tend to be mild, the occasional hard freeze can happen, causing extensive damage to homes ill-prepared for such cold weather. Add power losses due to heavy heating demand, and the situation can turn bad quickly.

To protect your family and avoid home damage, it’s important to prepare before harsh winter storms or unusually cold weather. Here are a few tips that can help with DFW winter storm preparation, from our plumbing experts at O’Bryan Plumbing Services:

Protect Your Water Lines

Uninsulated water lines in or near exterior walls or crawl spaces are especially vulnerable to freezing during cold temperatures. Add foam pipe insulation to exposed pipes or wrap them in fiberglass insulation.

For extra protection on lines exposed to the cold, such as hose bibs or main water lines from a well, add a heat tape under the insulation. It will provide gentle electric heating to keep your pipes above freezing.

Close Off the Crawl Space

If you have plumbing in a crawl space, make sure all the access points are closed to keep out the wind. Cold wind can freeze exposed pipes quickly.

Open Sink Cabinets

If your kitchen or bathroom sinks are on an exterior wall, open the cabinets below them during cold weather to allow extra heat to reach the supply lines. This may help prevent a frozen or burst pipe.

Protect Your Pump

If you have a private well or a water storage tank, don’t forget to protect the pump. Water expands when it freezes and can crack cast iron pump casings.

If the pump can’t be drained and it’s in an unheated area, consider insulating it or draping it with a tarp and adding an incandescent lightbulb as an emergency heat source.

Insulate Your Windows

Large amounts of heat are lost through windows. Consider adding heavy drapes or curtains or insulating them with plastic sheeting and tape.

Stock Up on Blankets

Make sure you have plenty of blankets and warm clothes available to keep your family warm, if necessary.

Buy Nonperishable Food

Stock up on things like canned goods, pasta, and rice that require minimal cooking and no refrigeration in case of power outages.

Add Alternative Heat Sources

Furnaces and electric heating systems may not operate if power is lost during the storm. Consider adding alternative heating sources like properly vented propane heaters or wood stoves.

Never use unvented propane heaters or your gas oven to heat your home, as they may release carbon monoxide.

Consider Buying a Generator

Even if you have a gas– or propane-powered furnace, the furnace won’t be able to run if your home loses power. Consider buying a portable generator or installing a standby generator to heat your home if grid power is lost.

Be sure to always operate the generator outside, far away from doors and windows, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Stock Up on Fuel

Before the storm or bad weather arrives, make sure you have enough propane for any propane-powered appliances like furnaces or stoves, and if you have a generator, stock up on gas or propane for it, as well.

Call O’Bryan Plumbing Services today at 972-727-6364 or contact us online for more tips on DFW winter storm preparation.

Plumbing Repair in Allen & Plano, TX

Even with your best efforts, cold weather can wreak havoc on plumbing systems that aren’t prepared for extreme cold. When you need help with frozen or burst pipes, leaks, damaged pumps, and more, talk to our experts at O’Bryan Plumbing Services.

We serve the entire DFW area, including Allen, Plano, McKinney, Garland, and beyond. With 40 years of experience and a team of expert plumbers dedicated to meeting your needs, we’re well-equipped to handle all your home plumbing repairs.

Our work is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we offer great warranties on all our services.

Call 972-727-6364 today or contact us online to schedule plumbing services in Allen, Plano, or the DFW area.