Is your house winter-ready? When it starts to get chilly outside, the water in your plumbing may start to freeze and expand. This can cause some serious damage ranging from burst pipes to flooding. Any water damage and repairs can be costly, and it might not even be covered by your homeowner’s insurance!
Luckily, there are a few ways to winterize your home and help you avoid some of those costly plumbing problems.
- Turn off any outside taps
Your garden hose shouldn’t be left outside during the winter. If it is connected to the main line, any water in the hose will freeze. This won’t just damage the hose; your valve and piping is also at risk! A damaged valve can easily cause a flooded basement. Turn off the outside taps and then the inside valves. Remove any water and store the hose.
There are a few additional steps to take if you already have non-freeze hosebibs installed on the inside valves. After turning off the valves, use the drain bleeder to remove any water and then close it up for winter. Wrap the hosebib in a cover with insulation to help prevent weather damage.
- Protect unheated pipes
Not every pipe is going to be in a warm place. Many pipes, especially those in basements and attics, are exposed to freezing temperatures in the winter. These vulnerable pipes should be protected as much as possible. Use heat tape or foam insulation to protect them.
In addition to wrapping the pipes, you should also check to make sure the coils and tape from the previous years is still working. Then, keep doors and windows close to the pipes closed for the season. This will help trap as much heat in the home as possible.
If the pipes are directly connected to a hot or cold faucet, you should keep the water moving. Let small amounts of water escape to prevent freezing. You may also want to consider bringing a portable heater into the room on particularly cold days. Finding ways to keep the room a few degrees warmer can help prevent freezing and thus prevent damage.
- Prevent water damage
Know what to do in the event of a burst pipe or plumbing issue. It is important to know where the main shut off valve is in your home and how to turn it off. Shutting the valve off can help prevent water from flowing into your home and causing major damage. During winter months, you should check the main shut off valve at least once. If you have any issues shutting it off or notice any leaks in the home, get them repaired right away.
- Check your plumbing system
Inspecting your sump pump and sewage system on a regular basis is important regardless of the season. Before the freezing temperatures roll in, you should clean out pits and pumps. Removing any debris and dirt can help prevent clogs and freezing. Don’t forget to look over your discharge pipe and test to see if there are any drainage issues.
For homeowners who have a septic tank, be sure to get it pumped out before it gets to chilly. Even after having it pumped out, you should check it regularly and keep it clean. This will prevent it from backing up.
- Clean those gutters and downspouts
While it may not rain much in the winter, you are going to want to keep your gutters, downspouts, and eavestroughs free of debris. The last thing you want is for water to sit in these areas and freeze. If water builds up over the winter, it may eventually find a way inside, causing damage to the foundation, walls, or ceiling.
- Don’t be afraid to call a drain cleaning expert
Are you noticing issues with your drains? Contact one of our drain cleaning specialists now before the problem gets worse. Freezing water only makes it harder to treat issues!
In the event you are dealing with extensive water damage, you can turn to our team of home restoration specialists to come in and clean the space up quickly and easily. We understand what it takes to eliminate water and mold damage, so you can count on us to get the job done right.
Happy Holidays from everyone at Triangle Legacy!
We hope your holidays will be filled with joy and laughter through the New Year.