Protecting Your Pipes in Winter When You Live in the Deep South

The Southeast of the United States has been seeing colder winters and springs than usual, and this has been causing problems many southerners aren't equipped to deal with. For example, many southern states don't have snowplows or road deicers, which can make travel treacherous for commuters when unusual winter weather arrives.

Having to contend with the polar vortex dipping down and the sub-freezing temperatures normally reserved for the northern regions is also creating issues for homeowners as well. While homes in the north are built to withstand extremely cold temperatures, southern homes usually aren't. For example, a southern home is typically built on a crawlspace or slab rather than a full basement and has less insulation. This can lead to pipes freezing, something most southerners aren't prepared for. It may be summer, but this is the perfect time to get your plumbing winterized before winter comes around again. Here are three ways to prevent your pipes from freezing.

Insulate Your Walls

In the South, the level of insulation in homes is usually far less than what it is in northern homes. To complicate matters, many homes have insulation that is placed forward of the plumbing, which means the pipes are flat against the exterior of the walls. Not only are the pipes insulated from receiving the warmer air of the home, which could keep them flowing, but they are also taking the brunt of the outdoor cold. Retrofitting your walls with additional insulation is easy. A contractor can drill small holes on your home's exterior and use slow fill spray foam insulation, protecting your pipes from the cold.

Insulate Your Pipes

Northern homes have insulating foam or other materials wrapped around their exposed pipes to keep them from freezing. Contract with a plumber to give your pipes the same treatment. If you have a crawlspace rather than a full basement, those pipes should be insulated as well. The crawlspace itself can also be insulated, which will better protect any of your mechanicals under the house.

Renovate Your Kitchen

If you're looking for an excuse to remodel your kitchen anyway, changing the layout can eliminate the problem of freezing pipes. In northern homes, the sink is rarely placed on an outside wall as that requires plumbing being placed on an outside wall, too. By rearranging how your kitchen cupboards and appliances are laid out, you can have the plumber put your sink on an interior wall instead. A kitchen remodel will also allow you to add even more insulation while the walls are open.

Call a plumber today for more information.