The winter weather can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing if you’re not adequately prepared. The water in pipes commonly freezes during the winter months, and if a home’s plumbing system isn’t ready, frozen pipes can result in burst pipes and water damage that will have costly repairs. Homeowners can combat these common winter plumbing issues by ensuring their plumbing system is ready for the winter. See below for winterization tips to prevent frozen pipes and other winter plumbing problems.
Prep Outdoor Faucets and Drains
It is crucial to turn off any outdoor faucets and drain any hoses that surround the home before the cold weather sets in. These outside faucets must be turned off at the shutoff valve, especially before freezing temperatures become frequent. Once the water valve is shut off on the outside, open up all the faucets or spigots, and let them drain out any leftover water. The outdoor faucets need to be left open, so they are completely dry, which will prevent them from freezing and breaking. Once all outside faucets are completely drained and dried, placing a faucet cover over them is the best practice to slow any heat loss through the pipe.
While prepping your outdoor faucets for winterization, taking care of any outdoor drains and gutters is recommended. Before significant cold weather or snowfall, have your gutters cleared of debris to ensure no clogs or buildup. If you have any downspouts installed in your yard, they should also be checked on or have a proper drain cleaning to ensure they work correctly during the winter.
The best way to keep your pipes from freezing is by insulating any pipes in unheated areas, such as the garage or attic. Use heat cable or heat tape and cover the exposed pipe with insulation from a hardware store. Pipe insulation should be added to all your exposed pipes in the basement, along exterior walls, or in any area that won’t get a lot of heat, such as crawlspaces. Pipe insulation is a small price for significant savings if your water pipes burst.
Get Your Water Heater Checked
When you wake up on a cold winter day, you first want to jump into a hot shower to thaw your frozen toes and fingers. If you turn on the hot water to find you are only getting ice-cold water, your day is off to a rough start.
Water heaters can break down for any number of reasons, but the most likely is that the homeowner failed to schedule routine tune-ups. You can avoid the disaster of cold showers during the winter by having a professional plumber inspect your water heater before the cold air sets in. Plumbers can perform necessary plumbing repairs for your Birmingham, AL, home.
Shut Off the Water When You Travel
If you’re going to be gone for a few days on vacation or holiday, make sure you turn off the water valve at the main shutoff. This will prevent any water flow and lower the chances of your pipes bursting if they freeze. This will also keep your house from flooding if the pipes crack since your water line is off.
Know What To Do During a Cold Snap
As a homeowner, you should be paying close attention to the weather during the winter months. That way, you can be prepared whenever your area faces a cold snap. When this initial cold snap hits, make sure you know how to care for your plumbing system.
Some DIY plumbing tips for your plumbing is to keep your home’s temperature steady. Do not use the thermostat to raise or lower the temperature at night or when no one is home. The consistent home temperature will help your plumbing system stay even. You need to have any hidden pipes exposed to the warm air in your home. This means opening up any cabinet doors or closets with plumbing underneath any sinks or closed off by doors. Finally, leave any indoor faucets running. Whether it’s a steady stream or your faucets drip, stagnant water is much easier to freeze than moving water. This will increase your water bill slightly, but this price is insignificant when compared to any plumbing repair costs you could face later on.
Schedule Plumbing Maintenance
If the winter months are quickly approaching, it’s a good idea to have your plumbing inspected by experts. Our plumbers can detect any potential plumbing issues and provide immediate repairs to prevent more significant problems from developing during the winter. If you need plumbing installations, air duct cleaning in Birmingham, AL, or any electrical, HVAC, or plumbing services, contact Xcalibur Services today!