BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As arctic air tightens its grip on the capital area and more icy mornings are predicted, plumbers like Tim Bourriague are gearing up for a busy few days.
"A lot of calls coming in because of the fact that, you know, it's freezing temperatures and the pipes are actually freezing up," said Bourriague.
He expects the concerned calls over freezing pipes to only pick up as folks deal with frigid temperatures in the coming days. It's what brought him, like many others, to Coburn's in Denham Springs. Before they call though, Bourriague says folks can take precaution themselves to keep pipes from bursting. He recommends they buy some insulation. "Actually, you'll want to seal them up with some tape as well," he added. "Also, make sure there's no joints showing or revealing any exposed piping."
While plumbers brace for the busy schedule, inside Coburn's, manager Paul Marino says they are already seeing an increase in customers. "Homeowners are coming in and getting stuff to fix their own and same thing... they're calling plumbers and plumbers are coming in getting it to do it for them," said Marino.
He also encourages folks to protect their pipes. He says it's something they should take seriously since many in the region likely have not seen a stretch of temperatures this cold in years. "When it sticks for a long period of time or day after day, that's when you're going to have a problem. We had a customer the other day that was comparing what we're seeing right now to something that happened in the early 80s which was before my time but it got really bad," said Marino.
If residents choose to take care of their pipes on their own, he stresses it's important to do a quality job and get everything covered. Many of the items folks will need are fairly affordable at most local hardware stores.
"You need to take it serious because it's going to cause you problems and the insulation's inexpensive," said Marino.
Anyone who finds themselves in a pinch or simply does not want to spend the money to wrap their pipes can also use things that may be lying around their house, like foam pool noodles to secure the pipes. Regardless of what option they use, as long as everything is covered, residents should be fine, but experts say they need to act soon.
"If it hasn't had a problem yet do something about it now," said Marino.
"Just wrap them up. It's time to do something right now before it gets too late," Bourriague added.
Experts say it's never too late to wrap pipes, but they say the sooner residents do it, the less chance they have for the pipes to freeze.