While you’re checking the outside of your home for potential pest entry points, it might be a good idea to check your pipes as well. Freezing pipes can lead to pipes that burst, and that’s a problem no home owner wants to deal with. Here in the South, it’s not as big a concern as it is in other parts of the country, but as Arkansans know, it can still get pretty cold in winter. The Weather Channel has some really interesting information on freezing pipes. Did you know that leaving a faucet dripping helps prevent pipes from freezing because of the running water, but because doing so alleviates water pressure that can lead to damage? Here’s more from The Weather Channel: Homeowners in the South need to be alert to the danger of freezing and bursting water pipes when the outdoor temperature threatens to drop to 20° F. That’s the temperature at which ice is likely to start forming in water pipes located in an unheated portion of a house. Once ice forms into a blockage in a pipe, continued growth of ice in the pipe can lead to excessive water pressure. It’s pressure of the water that has no place to go when ice builds that causes the pipe to burst, rather than ice pushing against the wall of a pipe. Although 20°F is well below the freezing temperature of water, two factors make this the critical outdoor temperature: The temperature of an unheated portion of a house is almost always at least a few degrees above the outdoor temperature. For example, an insulated attic may be at 37 or 38° F when the outdoor temperature is 32° F. Water “supercools” several degrees below freezing before any ice begins to form. In research tests at the University of Illinois, water pipes placed in an unheated, insulated attic consistently started forming ice when the outdoor temperature dipped just below 20°F. Read the full post. It has many good tips, such as leaving the cabinet doors open under kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes, and protecting pipes in attics and crawl spaces with insulation. Stay warm this winter, and protect those pipes.

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