Winterizing Your Home: Tip 5

With winter coming to a close, there is not much time left to talk about winterizing your home.  Spring has already sprung in some regions though it is still a hard winter this February in other places.  Mother Nature sure has a mind of her own.  A homeowner might check any exposed hose bibs, pipes, and your sprinkler systems are safe from freezes one last time before winter leaves us.

You might be thinking there is no reason for me to keep reading any further. The majority of homeowners know to wrap their hose bibs and to ensure their pipes are not exposed when the temperature drops below freezing, at least we hope you all are aware to do this.  You might be surprised to learn that every year there are more calls to local plumbers for freezing pipes than one would expect.  It never hurts to have a reminder for prevention as simple and affordable as we are going to cover.

If you were lucky enough to grab a hose bib cover at your local hardware store before winter hit then you have the easiest job.  For those of us who waited or forgot, like myself, you will have to be more resourceful and DIY.  If you were unable to obtain a cover and falling temperatures are approaching, simply follow these four steps: 1) find an old shirt or towel, 2) confirm your bib is turned off, 3) wrap the towel or shirt around the bib, 4) tape it down. You have now saved yourself from a freezing pipe. Make sure your DIY cover is snug up to the house and no areas of the bib are exposed.

If your home has exposed pipes, the fix is even easier.  All pipes which are exposed on the outside of your home are in danger of freezing and bursting.  These pipes will need pipe insulation installed to keep them safe. Go to your local hardware store and ask them where the pipe insulation is located.  Find the right size for your pipes, tear it down the seam, and wrap the pipe. Told you it was easy!

Lastly, the sprinkler system can be affected by frigid temperatures.  One solution is to call your local sprinkler servicer and ask them how to winterize your system.  This servicer will be able to provide tips and information specific to your region’s weather and if your system is in danger. If they are not available or you are in a time crunch, proceed with these steps: turn your main water intake valve to off, run your full system until water drains completely, and then turn the whole system off.  If there are any pipes above ground be sure to wrap them in some form of insulation.

These three prevention techniques can save you a headache and repair costs if your pipes are in danger of freezing.  As always, if something appears wrong or too difficult then call a professional to help you. Stay warm the remainder of this winter, and check back soon for our last blog in the winter series!