There are a few simple things that everyone can do to prepare their homes and plumbing systems as we head toward the colder seasons. For someone who has a second home, winter preparation takes on a whole different light. You’ll have to take into consideration the fact that you won’t be there throughout the entire season. It’s a good idea to pay attention to any type of outside plumbing or anything located on a lakeside dock.
Once you’ve taken care of all the outside plumbing, you’ll have to do something to maintain the temperature indoors. Generally, we don’t tend to see homes that are completely winterized. So as the indoor temperature goes below 60 degrees, it might be a good idea to have someone like a trusted neighbor go and check in every couple of weeks just to make sure everything is all right.
If you’re going to be at home during the winter, the first component to prepare for the cold weather is the outside hose bibbs. (That’s where the hose connections are located on your house.) First, locate and close the cutoff valve. Then open up the hose bibb to allow the pressure to be completely relieved. You might have seen a foam-like product for sale that goes on the outside of the house to protect fixtures from freezing. However, even if you put one of those on, I still highly recommend that you shut off the water to the hose faucets.
Next, if you have a basement, a crawlspace under your home, or any other type of unconditioned space, make sure that the vents or doors leading to those areas are completely shut and sealed off. One of the worst causes of frozen pipes is when you have a draft or an area that isn’t properly closed off. Wind will enter the area in no time and freeze the plumbing.
Finally, there are some additional things you might need to consider if you live in a rural area. For a home that uses a well without underground piping, make sure that you check the insulation around the pipes to make sure it’s intact and doing its job. Make sure it hasn’t gotten wet from something like rain. In rural areas it’s somewhat common to have heat lights and/or heaters. Check on them to make sure they’re working properly, and make sure that their thermostats are functioning properly as well.
During the colder winter months, the worst thing that can happen is a broken pipe that causes damage to your home. Contact the team at Wisler Plumbing online or give us a call at 540-483-9382 so we can come out and inspect your plumbing to make sure its ready for the season.