BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Baton Rouge metro area will see its first big freeze of the season heading into the weekend and the plummeting temperatures could cause some big problems for houses under renovation after the flood, so some experts are offering suggestions on how to prepare now.
Plumber Butch Taylor at Louis Mechanical has been busy since the August flooding making repairs, but with winter and freezing temperatures ahead, he said exposed pipes could expose flooded homes to more damage. During a heavy freeze, most homeowners can drip their faucets to prevent water pipes from freezing and bursting. However, homes that have been gutted and are waiting for renovation could need some extra steps to protect the plumbing, especially if the pipes are exposed and central heating is not an option.
"If there's no heat on in the house, the temperature in these pipes will drop really fast and the pipes will rupture," Taylor explained.
In cases of gutted homes with no insulation or heating, Taylor suggests cutting off water to the house ahead of a hard freeze, opening the faucets and draining any water left in the pipes. He added it's also important to cover any faucets or water pipes outside the house with some kind of insulation. That includes any water lines hooked up to FEMA mobile housing units. Taylors said the temporary PVC pipe used for the FEMA homes are especially vulnerable to damage during a freeze.
Of course, not every freeze this winter will wreak havoc. Taylor said it's when temperatures are predicted to drop below 32 degrees and stay down for a long period of time that homeowners should prepare.