How to Winterize Your Home Plumbing
Most homeowners are aware of the seriousness of their plumbing pipes freezing and why that situation can cause serious damage.
However, many homeowners may not understand how to prevent frozen pipes. Taking a bit of time to learn how to winterize your home plumbing system - both inside the house and out - can really pay off, especially since a lot of the winterizing work is made up of simple DIY tricks that shouldn't take too long.
Understanding the Risks
Before you start any of these DIY jobs, you might want to consider why winterizing is so important. Frozen pipes can not only cause minor headaches when taking a shower or running a dishwasher, but also can burst and potentially cause a lot of water damage. Water damage can be costly to repair and typically requires a professional plumber. Fortunately, the following winterizing tips may help you avoid that need altogether.
Where to Begin
It's wise to start by looking at the exposed water lines coming into - and running throughout - your home. These can be found in the basement, bathroom, kitchen - and anywhere else water flows (for example, in your garage or basement). If exposed water lines aren't insulated, buying a few tubes of pipe insulation at the local hardware store and installing it is both inexpensive and easy.
Similarly, if you haven't replaced your home's insulation in a while, you could be at risk for freezing wall pipes. In many cases, this is a job you won't - and probably can't - handle yourself and calling a professional would be best.
Exterior walls in your home have pipes that can be at a greater risk for freezing and bursting. Fortunately, there is an easy fix: Having pipes run on a slight drip while the temperature is below freezing could help you avoid these issues. It's a great life hack to help avoid frozen pipes as it keeps water flowing and helps prevent them from freezing.
When it comes to the water lines that run outside your home, you need to be conscious of the risks those pose as well. Even something as minor as leaving a water-filled hose outside when cold weather arrives can cause problems. It's important to shut off all water to outside spigots and flush any remaining water before the temperature drops below freezing. If you have underground sprinkler systems, those need to be flushed out as well.
Of course, winterizing should include more than taking a hard look at your plumbing. There are plenty of other ways you can make sure your property is ready for harsh winds, frigid temperatures, snow, ice and all the rest. A little winterizing research can go a long way. This can not only help you avoid major issues, but it might save you a bit of money as well.
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