Frozen pipes can leave you without water and cause irreparable damage to your home’s plumbing. With closed taps and expansion as the water solidifies, a hard freeze can literally split your pipes in half. Avoid an expensive ice burst this winter with these plumbing winterization tips and a little preparation.
Prepare Outdoor Equipment
Freezes in the unprotected outdoor portions of home plumbing put pressure on the whole system and can cause damage to indoor pipes. Start your weatherization outside with these tasks:
- As soon as the fall weather turns too cold to water the lawn, disconnect and drain the garden hose.
- If you have a pool, drain it and shut it down for the winter.
- Locate shut-off valves for outdoor taps and cut the water supply.
- Leave taps open after shut-off so any remaining moisture can expand without harming the pipes.
- Wrap faucets in insulating tape or cover them with faucet jackets.
Whenever possible, insulate any exposed outdoor pipes. If there’s a noticeable gap where the pipe passes to the exterior of your home, fill it with spray foam insulation or similar product to help protect against the cold airflow.
Insulate the Pipes
Any bare pipes in the attic, basement or crawl space should be insulated or wrapped in heat tape to protect against freezing. Follow the pipes from your home’s sinks, washing machine, water heater, and other water taps to find and insulate any other exposed pipe throughout your house.
Take ‘Cold Snap’ Protective Measures
When the temperature dips well below freezing, even well-prepared pipes may need a little extra help, especially if there are a lot of inaccessible pipes on exterior walls. Leave the taps open slightly at night to keep the water from freezing solid. Open cabinet doors to allow your home’s heated air to flow against the pipes. Close the garage door, and temporarily close up all the vents in the crawl space.
For more plumbing winterization tips or additional advice on how to keep your home in Highland Park or the surrounding area comfortable this winter, contact us at Carefree Comfort, Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning.
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