PREPARE YOUR PLUMBING FOR WINTER
Winter is coming… The frigid temperatures can be extremely harmful to your plumbing pipes, causing leaks or breaks. It’s important to winterize plumbing if your home will be vacant for extended periods of time. When water freezes, it expands into ice. The pressure created from the expansion can cause damage as well. Read below to find out how you can prepare your plumbing for winter.
- Insulate Pipes:
Look for pipes that closely located to windows or doors, on outside walls, are uninsulated, or near unheated areas. These pipes will be the most vulnerable to freezing and should be addressed first. Use a slip-on foam pipe insulator, wrap, or sleeve. Old copper pipes or steel water pipes are more susceptible to freezing than plastic. Heat tape is the preferred way to protect your pipes, however, it brings additional safety precautions.
- Seal Cracks & Openings:
Check for any cracks or openings in the ceilings, floors, or walls. If you happen to find something, caulk or use spray foam on the openings to keep cold air or moisture from getting inside. Inspect the exterior of the property as well. Make sure vents that lead outside (like your dryer vent) are blocked by using cardboard or wood.
- Maintain A Steady Flow:
Maintaining a heat source inside will help to keep pipes warm. If you’re planning to head out of town, plan to leave your heat on if possible. Check the forecast! If you’ll only be gone for a week but the temperatures plan to plummet, try leaving your home on a medium setting. Otherwise, a low setting will be fine. You’ll also need to turn on faucets to maintain a steady drip, where the water moves free and continuous, to prevent any freezing.
- Shut-Off & Drain Your Water Sources:
If you’ll be gone all season (lucky you), be sure to shut-off and drain your water pump. Start by shutting the main water valve and water heater off. Drain all valves and taps, ensuring all valves and taps remain open throughout winter. Use an air compressor to blow any excess water out of the pipes. Open and drain the water tank valve, ensuring it releases until empty. If there is no floor drain, you’ll need to use a garden hose. Make sure the holding take has been completely drained and add anti-freeze for additional protection. Flush all toilets to remove as much water as possible and add anti-freeze to reduce the risk of freezing and cracking inside the bowls. Lastly, check all sinks and tub drains that might have a drain trap. You can add anti-freeze to each as well.
If your pipes fall victim to freezing, call ServiceMaster of Baltimore for immediate service. 410-780-1700