Home winterizing must do’s!
Winter is fast approaching, and one of the many headaches that can cause for homeowners is frozen plumbing. A frozen pipe can cause catastrophic damage very quickly, especially when it bursts and floods a home with water flowing at four to eight gallons per minute. Events such as this have been known to cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage, but fortunately winterizing your pipes isn’t as difficult some people believe it to be. All you need aside from being mindful of the weather and the state of your plumbing is to remember these three important tips.
1. Know Where to Find your Main Shut-Off Valve
If you believe that your pipes are frozen or even if you have a burst pipe, the first thing you should do is to head to the main shut-off valve. Unfortunately, not all homeowners and tenants know where this is in their home. Make sure you know where the valve is before things have the potential of getting out of hand. Label it somehow so that everyone in your house can find it easily.
2. Keep Drafts Sealed Around Fixtures
If you spend a lot of time at home and run your water regularly, you probably won’t have to deal with any serious problems with frozen pipes. Water – much of which is very hot – will be moving through your pipes almost constantly. However, drafts around plumbing fixtures can still cause serious problems on particularly cold days. Make sure these drafts are properly sealed, especially if you are expecting some really nasty weather.
3. Keep Your Temperature Above 55 Degrees
Most people won’t want to stay in a house that is 55 degrees or colder during the winter, so hopefully this won’t be a major issue if you are planning on staying in much of the time. Still, people do go out of town for long periods of time during this season, and when they do they tend to let the temperature in their homes drop. If you are going to leave a home unoccupied for an extended period of time during the winter, either set the thermostat at 55 degrees or shut off the plumbing and drain the water from the main line.
By Nick Wert
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