The cold weather has arrived and we’re only in December! When the temperature drops below freezing, you need to have your home prepared the right way. Part of that preparation involves winterizing your home’s plumbing system.
Mr. Rooter Plumbing recommends five important tasks to help keep your home free of problems that occur in cold weather. Many of these are easy to do yourself and don’t require a significant amount of work.
1. Upgrade to a Frost-Free Hose Bib
Installing a frost-free hose bib is one of the smartest long-term investments a homeowner could make. A frozen hose bib can be very dangerous and costly if it were to burst. Plumbers suggest an upgrade to a frost-free hose bib will help save you more money in the long run.
2. Install Hose Bib covers
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect your hose bibs and faucets is by installing covers. Anyone can do it, it takes very little time to install and you can find the covers at your local home improvement store for under five dollars.
3. Close foundation vents
Do you have vents that lead into your home’s foundation? It’s a smart idea to have those vents closed up during the winter. Not only will this help prevent your water line from freezing, but it will also keep the warm air inside the crawl space. Most homes come with installed louvers that slide closed. However, if you’re missing those, we suggest either investing in louvers or a screen that will cover the vent.
4. Insulate water pipes
Another way to avoid water pipes from freezing is pipe insulation. There are a variety of products you can find at any home improvement store at an affordable price. If it is too difficult for you to reach your water pipes, we highly recommend calling a licensed plumber for the installation process. They can complete this job for you in a very timely fashion and you’ll know that your pipes are properly protected.
5. Winterize irrigation system
If you have any water that is not drained out of your irrigation system then it has the potential to freeze, expand and crack the pipe. In order to prevent this from happening, there are multiple ways to remove the water: auto drain, manual drain, or blowout. All three of these methods are effective in clearing the water out of your irrigation pipes. If you’re unfamiliar with your irrigation system or how to drain it, the blowout method is the best route. Although it requires extreme precaution, it can be handled by a licensed contractor and is guaranteed to have the best results.
The final piece of advice that we have is if you have any bathroom or kitchen sinks that connect to the outside wall in your business or home, we recommend opening the cabinets to allow warm air to circulate and help those pipes avoid freezing.
By taking care of these steps, you are setting up your home for a safe winter and minimizing the chance of any unexpected issues. If there are any concerns over whether or not you properly did each step, don’t hesitate to call a local plumber to have your home thoroughly inspected and maintained.