If you’ve been fortunate, you’ve never experienced a pipe burst in your home. The damage goes way beyond draining the water and sopping up the mess. You may be dealing with destroyed carpeting, documents that have dissolved into pulp, and a bath ring that encircles your entire basement. If you were on vacation when it happened, you may have to deal with warped floorboards, destroyed furniture, and wallboard that dissolved into mush.
Avoid disaster by checking out these 4 ways to winterize your home’s plumbing.
Drain Outdoor Spigots And Remove Hoses
Pipes within your basement or crawl space that lead to outside spigots are vulnerable to splits and bursts, particularly if they’re connected to undrained hoses. Water remaining in those hoses can expand as it freezes and push through to the inside of the house, causing pressure that’ll crack open the pipe.
As the temperature drops and you no longer need your hose to water the yard or wash your car, drain the hoses and remove them from the spigots. For further insurance, shut the inside valve and drain the water in the pipes that lead to those spigots, especially if those pipes reside in an unheated basement or crawl space.
Maintain A Closed System
You wouldn’t leave a window open in the middle of winter, so also should you make sure that your house is sealed tight against cold and drafts.
Check where pipes lead outside the house and make sure the hole through which they pass is caulked well. If you have an attached garage, make sure to keep the door firmly shut. If there are vents in crawl spaces through which plumbing passes, close them tight. Consider weather-sealing all windows. Close the chimney flue when not in use.
Insulate Vulnerable Pipes
The pipes most vulnerable to bursts are those that are in unheated areas like crawl spaces, garages, attics, or basements. Insulating those pipes with foam pipe insulation is a simple DIY job. Not only will this help prevent frozen pipes, but it can also bring energy and water savings.
Leave The Heat On
Whether you leave your winter home for a week or three months, leave the heat on in all zones at 55 degrees or higher. Make sure a neighbor has a key in case of a brown-out or complete power outage, to make sure that your system kicks in after the electricity comes back on.