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ARLINGTON, Tx. (KDAF) — In 2021 many Texans were affected by winter storms and the Texas Water Development Board wants to help you avoid water damage and loss during the winter season.

They shared seven tips to avoid any costly repairs and help you be proactive to avoid water damage and loss in your home, pool, or recreational vehicle.

  1. Protect your pipes
    • You can protect your outdoor faucets and exposed pipes by wrapping them with rags and tying them with zip ties or bungee cords — or purchase foam/fiberglass pipe wrap for the exposed pipes. The goal is to prevent frozen pipes in unheated spaces (garages, attics and crawl spaces) from bursting.
  2. Examine the exterior
    • Make sure to take a look at your roof, gutters and downspouts. “Broken shingles or damaged flashing can be a sign that water might be penetrating your roof. Also, consider grabbing the ladder and cleaning the leaves out of your gutters to allow rainwater to flow properly. You might also need to add extensions to your downspouts if the water isn’t running far enough away from the foundation of your house.”
  3. Check for leaks
    • Check for leaks around your toilets, sinks, showers/tubs, and water heaters (you can do a whole house water leak check using your water meter). “Larger leaks can often be detected by performing a simple check that involves turning off the water inside and outside the home, recording a water meter reading, waiting 15 minutes, and reading the meter again. If the meter records any water use during the test, it might be due to a large leak or a combination of small leaks.”
  4. Stop the sprinkler
    • During the winter months you can turn off your sprinkler system to help conserve water and prevent damage when/if temperatures drop below freezing. “Wrap exposed pipe with insulation to prevent a cracked or busted valve. If your area is prone to prolonged freezing temperatures, you might want to drain the underground pipes before the first freeze. If water is left in sprinkler system lines or valves, it could freeze and expand, causing components to burst. Consult the owner’s manual for your irrigation system and consider contacting a professional before winterizing your system.”
  5. House the hose
    • The board says during the winter months it’s a good time to drain any water hoses and store them inside. Once you remove the hose, be sure to insulate the faucet afterwards.
  6. Protect the pool
    • Winterize your inground pool to ensure it will be good to go the next summer season. You can remove debris, scrub pool walls, clean filters and balance pH levels before putting the cover on and shutting down the pump. Just in case, reach out to a pool service professional for pool winterization kits and/or extra steps to prep your pool for winter.
  7. Prepare the RV
    • RV owners be sure to get your vehicle ready for storage/winter and always check your owner’s manual for advice. “The most important step to take is purging the entire water system by draining your black and gray water tanks and the water heater lines. Some experts also suggest adding antifreeze to your toilet, sink, and shower lines.”