RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — We have been talking about the arctic air that will be surging into Central Virginia during Friday morning, and one of the concerns is that our temperatures will fall below freezing by Friday afternoon and then possibly staying below freezing for many of us through the entire holiday weekend.

We may not see the temperatures climb back above freezing until Monday.

That would be a prolonged period of extremely cold temperatures for Central Virginia and could lead to some pipes in your homes possibly bursting.

This is especially true for pipes that are along the exterior walls of your home. Yes, they are inside the walls but there may not be enough insulation around them to keep the water from freezing inside the pipe.

What follows is that the water expands when it freezes then it bursts the pipe. Water starts pouring out of the pipe and into the walls, floors or ceilings of your home creating water damage.

This is especially problematic because this is a holiday weekend and many of the men and women that work with repair services our celebrating the holidays with their families, so it will take even more time than normal to get someone to your home to begin to fix the situation or even just begin the process of cleaning up the water damage.

There are a couple of things that you can do to hopefully prevent this from happening.

Do you know where your water line shut off is in your house? This will be important to know in case a pipe does burst, and you have water flowing in your house.  Shut off the main line to stop the flow of water and limit the damage.

Consider opening cabinets where pipes are exposed in your kitchen and bathroom to allow the warmer air from the house to warm those pipes to hopefully prevent the water from freezing.

Open the tap of the cold water and create a very slow drip, especially during the night when we are at our coldest temperatures. The slow but constant flow of water through the pipes will make the water more difficult to freeze.

Also, keep your home a little bit warmer at night. If you allow the temperature to drop too much because you find it better to sleep, you need to keep in mind that you are not only cooling the pipes on the outside of the house right through the outside walls but also from the inside walls. 

Keep your home temperature at least above 55 degrees, if not a little bit warmer, at night so that your pipes do not freeze.

Finally, for your outdoor spigots, make sure you remove your garden hoses. If you have not already, drain them and store them away.