With winter comes freezing temperatures, and your plumbing can be damaged if you haven’t taken the time to prepare. Since water expands when it freezes, frozen water inside your pipes can cause them to burst and lead to water damage in your home. Prevent a catastrophe by following these plumbing winterization tips.
Turn Off the Outdoor Faucets for Plumbing Winterization
Check your outdoor faucets and make sure that you’ve turned them off, disconnected the hoses, and drained any excess water out of the valve. Even a small bit of water trapped in a tiny space can cause damage. To be extra cautious, cover faucets with foam insulation for the winter.
Keep the Thermostat at the Appropriate Level
You might be tempted to turn your thermostat off if you’re going to be gone for an extended period, but it is important to keep interior plumbing at a safe temperature. Always keep your thermostat set to at least 55 degrees to prevent pipes from getting too cold, especially in poorly insulated areas of your home.
Plumbing Winterization Includes Wrapping Pipes
Purchase pipe insulation and wrap all exposed pipes in colder areas such as the garage, attic, and basement. Insert a heating cable into the insulation to keep the pipes at temperatures above freezing during those cold bursts.
Let the Faucets Drip
Leave the faucet on just enough to let the water trickle through pipes that are susceptible to freezing. Running water relieves pressure on the pipes and reduces the chances they’ll freeze. Your water bill may run a tad bit higher, but it’s a small price to pay to avert a crisis.
Open Cabinet Doors
On frigid nights, it’s helpful to open lower cabinet doors to let some warm air in to reach the pipes and keep them from freezing.
Examine your Home’s Exterior
Walk around the outside of your home to check for cracks and gaps that will allow cold air to seep in. Seal them with caulk or insulation to keep the cold air out.
Plumbing winterization isn’t a difficult process, you just have to make the time to do it. You’ll be grateful later when you don’t need to make emergency plumbing repairs in the dead of winter.