Fall is the best time to prepare your plumbing for the winter season. As the temperatures continue to fall, it is essential to ensure that your faucets, pipes, and gutters are in good working condition. Here are some useful plumbing tips to help prepare your home for the cold weather.
1. Cover or Insulate Exposed Pipes
In addition to sealing any gaps between the walls and pipes that are going inside of your house, also make sure to insulate pipes in unheated areas, like crawl spaces and your garage. When left exposed to the cold, unheated lines are prone to freezing.
2. In-ground irrigation systems
To freezeproof an in-ground irrigation system, follow the manufacturer's procedures for draining and protecting it from winter damage.
3. Clean Your Gutters
Precipitation falls more quickly in winter than at any other time in the year. Because of the rainfall and strong winds, you want to ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear of twigs, leaves, and other debris. Clean gutters will ensure proper draining and prevent rainwater from landing near your home’s foundation.
4. Insulate and Cover Outdoor Faucets
The direct contact between your faucet and the winter weather can risk piping exposure to extremely low temperatures. Freezing temperatures can lead to broken faucets and damaged pipes, causing floods and other plumbing issues. If your house is equipped with an interior shut-off valve directly connected to your exterior’s faucets and plumbing, it’s also a good idea to turn it off. Afterward, you can then open the outdoor faucet valve to ensure there’s no remaining water inside the line that can freeze and cause trouble during the colder months. You can also insulate and cover outdoor-facing faucets to protect them from freezing temperatures.
5. Drain and Store Your Garden Hoses
It is important that you properly drain any remaining water and stow away your garden hose if you want to prolong its lifespan. Water left inside your garden hose can freeze and significantly expand, causing the hose to break. Disconnect your hoses, drain the remaining water, and find a safe, dry place to keep them stored until spring, such as a garage.
6. Check Your Sump Pump
A sump pump is one of the most important components of plumbing in our homes. That’s because they pump rainwater away from your home to prevent water damage and flooding. Fall is the ideal time during the year to check for sump pump damages and make the necessary repairs.