As temperatures become cooler, it is time to think about home winterization. When temperatures get cold enough, the water can expand and freeze, which puts a great amount of stress on the pipes that contain it. This typically happens to outdoor hose bibs and water supply pipes in unheated areas like basements and garages.
No one wants to come home to frozen pipes, which can be costly to fix. Check the tips below to help keep your pipes safe this winter. These tips are especially important for those who have experienced frozen pipes or meters in the past.
Faucets - During very cold weather, keep a trickle of water running from faucets connected to pipes in unheated spaces. This includes any faucets located on the perimeter of your home.
Outdoor faucets - If you haven't already, disconnect all garden hoses and drain the water that remains in your outdoor faucets. Looking for more information on disconnecting your outside spigots? Visit our blog post about how to properly disconnect an outdoor spigot!
Thermostat - Keep your home temperature set no lower than 55F. Travelers will often make the mistake of turning their thermostats off thinking it will save on their heating bill when in reality, they'll come home to frozen pipes and a giant headache.
Shut-off valve - Know the location of your main shut-off valve. This valve is normally located where the water line enters your home through the foundation. It can be used to shut the water off in an emergency or when plumbing improvements are being made. It can also be turned off while the property is vacant to prevent water damage that unforeseen leaks might cause.
Indoor pipes - Insulate pipes in unheated spaces like the garage and under cabinets along outside walls. Pipe insulation can be purchased at any home improvement store. During extreme cold spells, leave cabinet doors open so warm air can circulate better. If you do this, make sure to remove any hazardous materials so children and pets don't have access.
Irrigation - If you have an irrigation system, make sure you've turned off and fully drained your system. Many companies recommend owners turn off the water from the inside, drain the water out of the system and release the air pressure. Need help? Contact an irrigation company to assist you.