Homeowners reminded to cover flood vents to protect pipes - WNCT

Homeowners reminded to cover flood vents to protect pipes

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KINSTON, N.C. -

Homeowners are getting ready for Tuesday's big freeze. A frozen pipe or two can do quite a bit of damage.

Sometimes homeowners forget to cover their flood vents during the winter, which puts them at risk of frozen pipes, said Garry Jones, store manager of the Big Blue store in Kinston.

Fairfield Harbour homeowner Bernie Teubert makes it a habit to cover his flood vent as soon as fall hits, leaving the cover on until April.

"There's no door to close it so I put a plastic tarp on the hurricane vent," said Teubert.

The hurricane vent allows water from strong storms to flow underneath his house, so water pressure doesn't build up and crack his foundation. The tarp that's on the vent keeps cold air from touching nearby pipes that bring water to his kitchen and bathroom.

"It's bad to be without water. We want to protect our pipes," said Ruffin Hill, who bought pipe insulation at the Big Blue store on Monday.

Ahead of Tuesday's freeze, homeowners came out in force at hardware stores across the East, making a busy day for Jones.

"We've been kind of busy today selling pipe insulation, heat tape, faucet covers," said Jones.

He says covering your flood vent, if you have one, is important, but reinforcements like pipe insulation, electric heat tape, and heat lamps, also help.

Dripping your faucet for as little as thirty minutes also helps keeps your pipes from freezing.

"I do not lower the temperature in my house during that period," said Teubert.

A frozen pipe, especially if it bursts, can by very expensive to repair.

Flood vents are also known as foundation vents, water pressure relief vents, and hurricane vents.

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