With summer's heat rapidly giving way to the cooling fall temperatures, it's more important than ever that you are attentive to your home's plumbing. The upcoming winter season can spell disaster for your pipes if you don't properly winterize and protect the plumbing from freezing. Here are some things that you should know.
Inspect Your Home For Threats
The first step in winterizing your home's plumbing is to identify the vulnerable areas. You need to check both the interior and the exterior of your home. You will need to take steps to protect any areas where there are exposed pipes. This includes your outdoor hose bibs, too.
Protect Your Pipes
Any pipes that you identify as potentially vulnerable should be covered with pipe insulation. These insulation sleeves slide over the pipes, enclosing them completely to help protect them against the cold temperatures. If the pipes are outside or directly exposed to the cold, you should talk with a plumber about using heat tape and other measures for thorough winterization.
Additionally, any outdoor hose bibs need to be insulated. Disconnect your hoses from these bibs, then cover the hose bibs with an insulating cone after wrapping them with an additional insulating wrap layer.
Ensure Adequate Heat
Make sure that your home's thermostat is always set above 50 degrees to help provide some heat to your pipes. Any pipes that are underneath cabinets or in closets should be further protected. Leave the cabinet doors and closets open to allow heat to travel more effectively into those areas.
Let Faucets Drip
A slow, steady faucet drip is often all you need to keep the water moving in the pipes and help combat freezing. On nights when the temperatures will be particularly cold, give your pipes a helping hand by leaving the faucets open a little bit to encourage water flow.
Drain Your Plumbing
If you'll be leaving your home vacant for an extended period during the winter, contact a local plumbing contractor to help you shut off the water and drain all of your home's plumbing lines. This is an essential winterization tip for vacant properties because it helps to prevent the risk of frozen, burst pipes that can cause costly water damage when nobody is there to address it right away.
For more tips to help you properly winterize your home's pipes and protect them from the upcoming winter's temperatures, reach out to a plumbing contractor who provides home winterization services.