Steps to protect your home ahead of the cold weather

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Homes could take a hit when temperatures drastically drop.

The trouble could start where the outside faucets are located.

It's crucial homeowners remove the hose to allow the water to drain out during the cold temperatures.

If not, the faucet could break, causing water to leak inside the foundation and into the home.

"It could be thousands," John's Plumbing, Heating and Air Condition Inc. Technician Keith Garrison said.

He said pipes are the most vulnerable to freeze.

This is why vents to the crawl space should be kept closed at all times.

"The problems comes in when the wind blows, cold air will then flow through the crawl space and any exposed pipes will freeze," Garrison said.

It's also what you do on the inside that helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Garrison said make sure to leave your faucets on a slow drip.

"All that does is keep water moving through the water lines," Garrison said.

Another trick is to open up cabinet doors right beneath the sink.

"That will help heat get into the wall better," Garrison said.

He's seen the aftermath when people frantically call him after not taking precautions.

"I have seen times where those faucets will break and you don't realize it until the inside of the house is flooded," Garrison said.

Homeowners have to protect their main water source too.

People who are on well water can't forget to insulate around the pump, but two things could happen if you do.

"Number one, it's going to cost an expensive repair and number two, it will keep you from having water until it is fixed," Garrison said.

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