Experts encourage residents to prepare homes for winter weather - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Experts encourage residents to prepare homes for winter weather

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Some residents spent the day winterizing their pipes; however, Kay Keefe with Keefe Plumbing says not everyone will do the same.

"We've had mild winters the last few years so it's been awhile since we've had a good freeze. So we expect some people to be surprised because they might not take the precautions, because they've not had to," said Keefe.

That unfortunate surprise could come with a hefty price tag; anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

"It's not necessarily just the plumbing repair. There may be drywall, wood floors, rugs, things that are damaged," said Keefe.

She says winterizing your home can be easy.

"It's important they unhook their water hoses, they cover the outside faucets and the foundation vents if they have a crawl space," said Keefe. "They could put some heat tape or heat trace on it. You just wrap it around the pipe and plug it in when it's going to be cold to help avoid that."

Even allowing a steady drip of both hot and cold water will do. However if you find yourself with pipes already frozen, Keefe says there's no reason to worry just yet.

"If your pipes are frozen that doesn't necessarily means it's going to burst, it will burst when it thaws and the water doesn't have anywhere to go," said Keefe.

So she suggests opening faucets to allow the water a way out.

"When it thaws it has some place to go out the spout rather than breaking the pipe," said Keefe.

If you have a vacant home, Keefe says you should take extra precautions by shutting off water and draining it, while also putting anti-freeze in the traps and toilets.

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