Picture this: it’s the dead of winter, temperatures plummet outside, and suddenly, a pipe bursts and you hear the horrifying sound of water gushing. Let’s explore the essential steps to prevent burst pipes and ensure your winter season remains cozy and catastrophe-free.
Check for leaks.
Even the smallest leak can turn into a torrential flood if not caught early enough. The resulting damage can cost a pretty penny, therefore it is important to check all pipe lines, especially those areas that lack insulation.
Drain and insulate.
Before the cold weather sets in each year, disconnect and drain any outdoor hoses. Shut off the water supply to outdoor faucets and consider using faucet covers to provide extra insulation.
Weatherproof trouble areas.
It is also important to look out for areas containing exposed plumbing. Doorways, windows, and vent fans should be checked to make sure their seals remain tight. If a seal is loose, you can use caulking to prevent your home plumbing from freezing.
Insulate exposed pipes.
Insulating your pipes is easy and inexpensive, but does so much to protect your plumbing system. It can be as easy as installing foam tubing or towels around your pipes and can help your water heater retain heat (and therefore lower those pricey energy bills). Pipes near electrical sources should be insulated with electrical heating tape.
Keep indoor pipes warm.
Just because outdoor insulation is being stressed, don’t forget about your indoor pipes. Indoor pipes can also freeze in cold weather, so doing things such as opening cabinet doors to expose your pipes to your home’s heat can help prevent internal home plumbing issues. If you leave for vacation, don’t turn off your heat completely..
Let your faucets drip.
When it’s really cold, you should go around the house and turn on any faucets connected to exterior pipes so that they’re dripping slightly. The continuous flow of water helps relieve pressure within the pipes and reduces the risk of freezing.