Winter is on its way and the dark nights and short days are almost with us. Now is the time to prep homes for the cold season.
Homeowners should be using the time during the fall to prepare their plumbing for the upcoming winter season.
“We realize autumn is a busy time, but homeowners must not forget that winter is heading our way and there are a few things they can do to prepare their plumbing,” said Max Rose, owner of Four Seasons Plumbing.
“An exposed or insufficiently insulated pipe could freeze in the winter and cause even more damage beyond the initial flooding.
“Fortunately, there are things property homeowners can do to prevent costly and unforeseen plumbing incidents from happening.
“Even if you work to prevent issues from arising as the temperature drops, sometimes parts wear out or the weather causes unforeseen problems.
“But you can still lessen the damage by being diligent and preparing for issues that could arise.”
Disconnect your outdoor water hoses and check the faucets for leaks or rust
Simply unscrewing your hoses and making sure the faucets aren’t in disrepair can prevent cold air from reaching your other pipes and freezing the entire system.
Shut off the interior valves for the outdoor faucets
This device is usually located in the basement or garages of most homes. If your home does not have a valve to shut off the outdoor devices, fall is a time to consider adding one as an extra precaution from freezing temperatures.
Further protect your outdoor plumbing by winterizing the faucets with coverings
Most home improvement stores sell hose bibs or other devices to keep the cold away from outdoor plumbing.
Inspect your pipes
Check your house’s indoor plumbing for leaks, rust and other objects that could cause a pipe to burst in the winter. Clean or repair the rust and insulate pipes that are exposed to colder air.
Flush your water heater
Shut off the power and water supply and then drain the water heater to rid it of sediment and rust. This improves your efficiency and helps you keep your showers nice and warm during the winter cold.
Check your sump pump
Not every home requires a sump pump, but if your home does, make sure it is in good working order. If it does not work or emits a foul odor, call in a professional plumber to look at it before it stops working completely during the most inopportune time. Also investing in a battery backup system for the pump can pay dividends when flash floods are couple with power outages.
Clean your gutters
While most houses don’t pipe gutters into underground drains, some do, and it is a good idea to make sure your gutters are free from leaf debris to keep water from draining improperly and ruining your foundation. The drains can also stop up like traditional pipes and cause damage to your yard and home. Set aside time for regular cleanings throughout the fall months to stay on top of it.