As the leaves start to change, and the daily temperatures remain at an all-time high here in Colorado, it’s hard to imagine waking up to snow and frost. But as we all know, that will soon be the case. With winter comes freezing temperatures and with those cold temps, your plumbing is at risk. When the weather becomes cold enough to freeze, if your plumbing is not protected, it can freeze, too. It can be very frustrating to turn on your water, only to discover that nothing comes out because it is frozen. The following tips will help you prepare your plumbing for the freezing temperatures that are soon to come.

Insulate any unprotected pipes, such as in your garage or basement. This layer of insulation will help protect your pipes from freezing. You can even find heated insulation that will keep your pipes warm, even through the coldest weather. If you do not have access to pipe insulation, you can use rags and newspapers to help protect the exposed pipes.

When a particularly hard freeze is expected, leave your hot and cold faucets trickling. This will stop the water from freezing in the pipes and leaving you with no water.

Open cabinet doors under the sink to allow the warmth of your home to keep the pipes from freezing.

Keep up the maintenance of your water heater because it works harder in the cold months to heat the water. Flush it out to remove any buildups that could lead to corrosion.

Turn off outdoor water faucets and disconnect any hoses. You can also insulate any exposed outdoor faucets to prevent them from freezing. Wrap the faucets with insulation or rags to protect them from the cold.

Have your plumbing inspected by a professional for signs of any leakage. Leaks, even the smallest leaks, can freeze in the winter and cause hundreds of dollars in damage. Take care of the minor fixes now to avoid major problems later.