The harshness of winter often comes without warning and doesn’t just wreak havoc on the roads. It can cause some major headaches at home, too, especially when it comes to plumbing systems.
Avoid dealing with plumbing difficulties this winter by taking some preventative steps instead. Take a look at how you can get your plumbing ready for cold weather.
Empty your gutters – Clear out leaves and debris stuck in your gutters to keep precipitation flowing through them. Be sure to clean out the downspouts as well so that when rain water starts to fall, the water can easily travel to the ground and away from your home.
Check outside faucets – If you notice any leaks or dripping, call a professional to make the necessary repairs. To stop an outdoor faucet or hose from dripping, you can tighten the packing nut that sits just below the handle of the faucet using a wrench or pliers. If the dripping continues, you may need to replace the rubber washer in the faucet.
Keep the heat inside – Close up crawl space vents and try to keep your garage door closed, particularly if the garage is where you house your water heater. Plan on insulating doors and windows, even just with temporary plastic found in winterizing kits, to keep the inside temperature of your home high enough to prevent pipes from working too hard to heat up flowing water. These tips will not only protect your plumbing, but will also keep your energy bill more manageable.
Get a furnace checkup too – Make sure your furnace is running properly by having a professional take a look before the cold weather hits. You will also want to change your heater filters at least once per month during peak season.
Keep food on the table, not in the drain – Holiday cooking during the winter season can put a serious strain on your garbage disposal and pipes since cooking oils and grease are used quite frequently. These cooking agents are more likely to clog your drains during the colder months, so try your best not to pour it directly down the drain.
Check outdoor drainage point – Clear plants and debris from drainage points so that water is not blocked from leaving the house. Failure to remove this blockage could lead to serious water damage and water stains on the walls of your home.
Shut off your water – At least if you plan to be away. If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, turn off your main water valve. This ensures that there will be no water emergencies while you are away, which will be even more damaging without you there to attend to them.
With just a little bit of foresight, you can ward off winter plumbing problems. Don’t wait until you have a plumbing emergency to pay attention to this vastly important home operation. Take the right steps to winterization and proper plumbing problem prevention.