Tips for keeping your pipes from bursting in winter weather

A Chattanooga plumber offers tips to keep your pipes from bursting in prolonged periods of cold weather. (Image: WTVC)

Ahead of this week's winter weather we checked in with a plumber for tips on keeping your water pipes from freezing.

"There was a house that was vacant and they left the water on and forgot to winterize, when they came home the whole house was destroyed," Kay Keefe, owner of Keefe Plumbing Company said.

The cold and the wind can cause major damage to your pipes.

Kay says unhooking your hose and covering outside faucets can prevent lots of damage.

"This is the number one thing that we see people forget," Keefe said.

Forgetting these steps can cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in damage.

"Water is very destructive," Keefe said.

Data from State Farm says Tennessee was the fourth highest state for winter water damage claims last year, from things like frozen pipes. The average claim cost $19,000.

"When it's really cold and then it's also windy that's like a double whammy and it causes a problem," Keefe said.

Other easy tips to protect your home, make sure your outside vents are closed, keep your faucet running and open your cabinet doors to get warm air on your pipes.

If you're going out of town during the cold weather, Keefe says shut your water off, drain your lines and turn your water heater off or on vacation mode.

As for main water lines, Daphne Kirksey with Tennessee American Water says, "There's not a whole lot of prevention we can do, but we'll definitely have crews on call 24/7, we are here for emergencies."

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