Winter Weatherization Tips
Protecting your pipes in the winter can prevent them from freezing and bursting causing damaging leaks to your home and costly water bills.
Here are some simple things you can do to protect your pipes:
- Insulate exposed pipes, with wraps or tapes available at home improvement stores, especially those that pass through unheated spaces and the outdoors.
- Consider adding or supplementing insulation to water heaters.
- Drain irrigation systems, since the tips of sprinkler heads and portions of sprinkler systems often continue to hold water, even when inactive.
- Disconnect garden hoses from all outdoor water faucets (spigots), allowing water to drain completely, and store hoses in a place with consistent (warmer) temperatures.
- If an outside faucet is not frost free, find the shut-off valve on the pipe that feeds that faucet and turn it off; then, turn the outside faucet on and let it drain completely. Spigot covers also can help protect outdoor faucets from freezing temps.
- Winterize air conditioning units as well, insulating exposed pipes and hoses (after cutting the power to the outdoor condensing/compressor unit); consider an AC unit cover, too.
- Remove window air conditioning units and insulate those areas accordingly.
- Clean gutters, so winter rains and melting snow can drain.
- If you wake up on a particularly icy morning and you do not have water inside your home, you may have a frozen pipe. Once the sun come out, the line will thaw on its own; but, if you are leaving the property for the day, make sure that all faucets in the house are turned off to prevent possible water damage when the line thaws.
- When leaving the home or office for an extended period of time, turn the temperature down to 55 degrees – rather than turning the heat completely off – to prevent problems from freezing temperatures, such as frozen air conditioner lines.
- Should a pipe burst due to freezing or under any other circumstances, always know how to shut off the main water line servicing the home or property.