How to Winterize Your Home Plumbing
Now that summer is over; you need to start thinking about winterizing your home’s plumbing and pipes. During the winter, the cold weather can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system if you haven’t properly prepared for the season, leading to hefty repair bills.
Winter can be an expensive time of the year, so the last thing you want during this season is to need to pay an expensive bill for plumbing repairs. The transition from summer to fall is the perfect time to winterize your home. Not sure how to? Read our helpful tips below.
Inspect the foundations and outdoor walls of your home. If you come across any holes or cracks, you should fill these in with either caulking or foam insulation. Filling the cracks or holes will prevent cold air from having contact with your pipes when the weather outside hits freezing temperatures.
Many homes have crawl spaces underneath them. If your home has a crawl space, seal it off before winter comes. Use heavy duty cardboard, MDF, or a tarp to block off the vents. You’ll need to cut these down to size then duct tape them into place. You should also seal off any access points. Try to minimize your pipes vulnerability to the cold by making sure there’s no missing insulation around the door of your garage or utility room.
Allow more heat to get to your pipes by keeping the cabinet doors that are on external walls open. The heat from your home will be able to travel to your pipes and keep them that extra bit warmer.
Although this tip may sound a little strange, if the weather is forecasted to be below freezing, leave faucets that are located on an external wall dripping. Make sure the drip is small and steady – this doesn’t prevent the pipes from freezing, but it eliminates the pressure and will stop the pipe from bursting.
During the winter, your pipes are very susceptible to the freezing temperatures. If your pipes aren’t insulated, and the temperature drops to below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, they can become frozen and potentially crack or burst. Having your pipes insulated by a professional plumber can defend them from the freezing temperatures and prevent any damage.
If you want to protect your pipes yourself, it doesn’t cost much to buy the pipe insulation from your local hardware store. You can add a little extra protection by first wrapping the pipes in heat tape, then adding the insulation.
Rather than waiting for the winter weather to arrive, and then thinking it might be time to winterize your outdoor plumbing, you should plan ahead. Aim to have your outdoor plumbing prepared for the freezing temperatures by no later than the middle of November.
You can winterize your outdoor plumbing in many different ways:
● Disconnect your garden hose from the faucet, make sure to drain it, then store it away in your shed or garage during the winter months.
● Some outdoor water faucets have two separate shut off valves. If you have this type of faucet outside, you should close the valve and open up the spigots that lead to the drain lines. Leave them open until spring comes back around.
● Before the cold weather hits, wrap some insulation around your outdoor faucet and duct tape it into place. Don’t attach it on tightly, make sure that you can slip the insulation on and off in case you want to use the faucet during the winter.
If you are unsure whether or not some of these tips are necessary for your home, then you can always contact your local plumber for some relevant advice. They will know the area well, so will know precisely how best to prepare your plumbing for the winter.