Pipe-bursting cold! How to protect your pipes during the South Texas freeze

There are a few things you can do to lessen the chance of your pipes freezing this weekend

Generic image of a frozen pipe. (Pixabay)

As the weekend nears, temperatures are going to continue to drop in the coming days.

Your KSAT Weather Authority is expecting two rounds of wintry weather for the San Antonio area from Saturday into Monday. With these below-freezing temperatures, it’s important to winterize your home ahead of time.

RELATED: San Antonio area in for two rounds of winter weather this weekend

These cold temperatures can especially pose a threat to water pipes, both indoors and outdoors. As the ice begins to form, it can expand and possibly break your pipes, which could be costly, according to the San Antonio Water System (SAWS).

But, there are a few precautions you can take to prevent this. Here’s what you can do, according to SAWS:

  • Cold winds can speed up the freezing process. Seal up openings where cold air can reach unprotected water pipes, like faucets.
  • Foam or fiberglass insulation sleeves go a long way in keeping exposed pipes safe.
  • Leave cabinet doors open under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warmer room air to circulate over the pipes.
  • If there are rooms without heating ducts, leave doors open to allow ambient heat in. Especially if the room is on the north side of the house.
  • Letting faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through pipes is not ideal, but it can help.

Don’t worry about the pipes underground, as the temperatures won’t be cool enough to freeze them, according to SAWS.

If you do find that your house is without water during the cold weather, there are a few things to consider when trying to navigate the problem. It could be due to a frozen pipe, or another issue.

Here’s what to look for to help determine what’s causing the water outage, according to SAWS:

  • Check multiple faucets around the home. Are they all off or is it just one?
  • Check with your neighbors to see if they have water service.
  • Is your home heated? Were you away from home during the freeze?
  • Did you leave your faucets dripping? Cover your outdoor faucets?

Once the temperatures begin to warm up later on next week, make sure to check your plumbing in areas that may have been subject to freezing.

If a pipe is cracked or damaged, you’ll likely need to get it repaired.

To learn more about how to winterize your home, or for more information on SAWS, click here.

Stay Informed

As always, Your Weather Authority team will keep you updated. You can get the very latest forecast anytime by bookmarking our weather page and downloading the KSAT Weather Authority App - available for both Apple and Android devices.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.