NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – These frigid temperatures can mean headaches – and big dollars – for homeowners when pipes freeze and burst.

But there are steps you can take to prevent, or at least mitigate it.

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“We just turned on the water, and nothing came out,” said Arlington resident Caitlin Hartman.

“We did start to notice pipes freezing, and first it started with just a sink that was on an external wall,” said Southlake resident Lynda Warner. “And then the next sink and then the next.”

Their concern is when the pipes begin to thaw.

“What do I need to look for first?” asked Warner. “Because right now, I don’t know what I’m looking for.”

David Crow of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Arlington said the first sign of a burst pipe is the sound of running water.

“Don’t wait till you see water. ‘Well, I keep hearing this sound, but I don’t see anything,'” said Crow. “There’s a reason you’re hearing that sound you didn’t hear before.”

To prevent potentially catastrophic water damage, Crow said to be proactive.

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Open your cabinets.

Allow faucets to drip on both hot and cold.

“Flowing water has such a less likely chance of freezing,” he said.

If you have electricity, use a small heater or heating pad to apply heat to the pipes.

And know where your main water shutoff valve is before you need it, Crow said.

“If it’s been busted or compromised, you’re going to have active water inside the house. You’re going to need to know how to go out there and shut that water off so that you don’t incur any more damage than you have to,” he said. “Just be aware.”

Crow said he knows the trouble will begin when the temperatures warm up later this week.

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He said he expects there to be tens of thousands of dollars in damage frozen pipes in the Metroplex.