With winter just around the corner, and a chill already entering the air, it’s time to think about the essential maintenance your home needs in preparation for the coldest season. The priority before winter is to implement procedures that stop pipes freezing, as this can lead to burst pipes and significant damage or flooding. Even if you don’t live in a climate where your pipes are likely to freeze, there are some steps to take to conserve energy usage and keep your plumbing functioning well in winter. Read below on how to winterize your pipes and plumbing.
Have Your Plumbing Inspected
Just before winter is the ideal time to have your whole house plumbing inspected and analyzed for any weakness or damage. During winter when the water in your pipes gets colder and possibly freezes, it puts more significant pressure on your pipes. A plumbing inspection can be an ideal first step before having your pipes insulated.
Get A Water Heater Check-Up
The middle of winter is not the time you want your water heater to give up. Don’t leave it to the last minute, have your water heater inspected by your plumber at the beginning of winter to ensure its running effectively and efficiently. Hot water can cool down while traveling through your pipes and with sitting in the tank during winter. You can also have your tank-style water heater insulated along with your pipes to prevent additional standby heat loss in the coldest months, conserving energy.
Insulate Your Pipes
Adding pipe insulation is an excellent way to protect your plumbing during winter, no matter what climate you live in. Pipe insulation can help prevent pipes from freezing, but it can also simply insulate your system as the temperature drops to conserve heat loss. Insulated pipes have less risk of freezing, and they also keep your hot water hot as it travels from the water heater to the outlet. This can mean savings in water and electricity usage during winter for your home. The insulation tubes used for keeping your pipes warm is made from polyethylene or fiberglass. The thickness of insulation you should add depends on your climate and the temperature. Pipes that run through any unheated area should be insulated. Check with your qualified local plumber to get the right insulation for your space.
Insulate Your Home Structure
Most plumbing passes under the crawl space of your home, so it’s important to seal and insulate this area to prevent pipes coming into contact with cold air. Fix any exterior home cracks with foam insulation or caulking, and seal off the vents and windows in your crawl space with heavy duty cardboard. This acts as another layer of padding to protect your pipes.
Frozen and burst pipes can cause significant and costly damage that can be easily avoided with the right preparation. Talk to your local plumber, Magnificent Plumbing to get advice and assistance on the best way to prepare your pipes for winter.