Five Tips for Winterizing Your Home
As any homeowner that lives in a colder climate already knows, frigid weather can lead to frozen water, and frozen water can lead to broken pipes. This best way to avoid these or other types of plumbing catastrophes is incorporating a bit of preventative maintenance to winterize your home before the temperature changes. Here are 5 of most important ways to prepare your plumbing for the upcoming winter
1. Insulate Vulnerable Pipes and Faucet
You should have all pipes and faucets that are located in less-than-adequately insulated areas, such as the basement or an unheated garage, insulated to protect them from freezing or bursting. Pipes and faucets are especially vulnerable to freeze damage when the outside temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The best protection is to have a plumbing professional insulate your susceptible pipes with a thick layer of polyethylene or fiberglass insulation and use a special heat tape to seal and cover hard to reach areas.
2. Fix Exterior Cracks and Exposed Areas
To ensure that exposed pipes are as warm as they can possibly be, it is crucial to seal exterior vents around the house, such as cracks in the foundation. It is simple to fill holes and cracks with caulk or spray foam insulation. Also, it is important to cover crawl spaces and ensure that all basement windows and doors are sealed tightly. Don't forget to check your garage doors to make sure they are properly insulated, as well.
3. Use Anti-Freeze to Protect Pipes
It is a good practice to drain all of the pipes in your home in preparation for freezing temperatures. However, there are always going to be minor areas where bits of water may linger. A plumbing professional can sparingly use a touch of antifreeze solution to treat residual water and keep it from freezing. For example, they may place some antifreeze in the sink and bathtub drains, as well as the toilet tank.
4. Check Outside
Don't forget to have your plumbing professional winterize parts of your property that are situated outside of your home. After all, you must disconnect and drain all garden hoses as well as drain and insulate all outdoor pipes. If you have a Jacuzzi, fountain, sprinkler system or pool, you should also have the plumber take a look at each system to make sure it is ready for the winter. It is important that there is no running water outdoors.
5. Always Keep the Inside Temperature Above 60 Degrees
There are automatic thermostats that are programmed to drop over 10 degrees while homeowners are asleep or at work. However, if the outside temperature is in the teens or lower, the 10 degree change can be disastrous. This temperature lowering can put your furnace into a dormant cycle, and it will not be able to restart until it has already dropped the 10 degrees as programmed. If your home is well-insulated, this can take hours and the pipes in less-insulated areas will be prone to freezing. The best thing to do is to never program your heating system to dip below 60 degrees to prevent these types of scenarios.
While it is true that winter can be harsh, if you take the above-listed steps to protect your home and property, you shouldn't have to worry about dealing with any high-cost, headache-inducing plumbing messes this season.
Winter is nearly here! To get the best advice on winterizing your Vancouver home, call Lambert Home Comfort at (604) 734-0890 today.