As overnight temperatures drop in Las Vegas, homeowners should take steps to ensure their homes are ready for the cold. Water pipes are particularly vulnerable to freezing temperatures.
Experts say outdoor spigots are the first to freeze, because they are out in the open air.
Even though Las Vegas is located in a desert, freezing temperatures are common in the winter.
A 2011 insurance company study found water caused more than $9 billion in damage during a three-year period. Most of the claims for that water damage were from busted or leaky pipes.
Water expands when it freezes, so all types of pipes are susceptible to bursting.
A trip to the local hardware store can yield a variety of options to insulate pipes... from foam strips to anti-corrosive heavy tape.
Anthony Myers works at the Ace Hardware Store at Durango Drive and Cheyenne Avenue. He says he has seen a recent spike in customers buying supplies to insulate their pipes.
He says many of those customers learned the hard way from past experience.
"You want to basically prevent it before you run into any trouble,” he said. “You don't want to run into some trouble, and then you're going to have to pay more out of your pocket just to fix it, when you could have prevented it."
Myers says pipes in garages can also freeze, if there’s a draft. He recommends weather stripping to go under exterior doors or garage doors if those doors lack a good seal.
It's not expensive to weather-proof pipes. Materials range from $5 to $20. Special faucet covers can cost $10.
Prevention can be a lot cheaper than hiring someone to replace a broken pipe or clean up water damage.
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