POWELL, Tenn. (WATE) — As temperatures start to drop, you may want to start thinking about winterizing your home.

“When you get to cold weather and preparing your plumbing for the cold, you want to make sure that everything is well insulated,” said Todd Keith, a plumber with Hero Services. “You don’t want to have exposed piping running outside in a place where it could freeze. Even places like crawlspaces or attics are common spaces where it’s just not insulated properly.”

Keith said adding insulation to areas like basements and crawl spaces will help maintain higher temperatures in these areas where pipes are usually located. Inside your home, he suggests opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.

Keith said, “you could certainly have inspections and maintenance done to make sure everything is weatherproof to make sure everything is insulated properly, make sure everything is installed properly”

“Irrigation systems are very very common,” explains Keith. “So anyone who has irrigation systems, make sure that’s been properly winterized. You want to disconnect that backflow [preventer]. It’s a very common service issue. Usually, you don’t find out until spring when you go to turn it back on. The backflow is an expensive part to fix or have to replace if it’s frozen.”

Disconnecting and checking these items now can prevent problems later. Keith also mentions that you should make sure all your hose bibs are frost-proof.  

“Even checking like meter boxes. Make sure that the lids are on. Sometimes landscapers might remove them or they get broken or something like that so making sure that those are in place because meter freezing is another common service call that we get in the cold season.”

However, if you do find yourself with frozen pipes, “turn the water off at the house and do an inspection to see if you can find the lake. If you can’t, call a professional plumber and we can come out and check it out.”

If you plan on taking a vacation and leaving your home for an extended period of time during the cold-weather season, the American Red Cross suggests leaving the heat on in your home and setting it to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.