BBB offers winter weather tips for plumbing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Bitter cold temperatures can spell out disaster for your home - frozen plumbing lines, burst pipes and water damage.

The Better Business Bureau has some tips to follow to prevent the stress and the expensive repairs.

  • Wrap all exposed pipes that are in unheated areas.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.
  • Cover the vents around the foundation of your home.
  • Let outside faucets drip 24 hours a day (about five drips per minute).
  • Shut off the water to any washing machines in unheated garages.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls to allow heat in.

If the worst happens and the pipes freeze and burst:

  • Cut off the water valve. Call your water provider if you don’t know where the valve is.
  • Call your insurance agent and file a claim.
  • Take pictures.
  • Wet items should be thrown away or thoroughly dried within 48 hours of the flooding to prevent mold.

If you need a plumber:

  • Be wary of plumbers who show up unsolicited making offers.
  • Beware of price gouging. Some businesses mark up their products by as much as 500 percent due to high demand of plumbing services in cold weather.
  • Shop around. Get competitive bids and check references and licensing requirements.
  • Check with BBB for a credible business.
  • Request a written contract detailing all services, materials, and labor. Make sure the plumber signs it.
  • Never pay for anything in advance or with cash.

See more at the Better Business Bureau website.


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