As a homeowner, it is important to prevent your water pipes from freezing both inside and outside of your home. You must winterize your pipes before the coldest winter weather arrives. When you prepare your plumbing for freezing temperatures, you should also make sure that you do not have leaks or breaks in the pipes. When water freezes within the pipes, the ice expands and causes pressure in the pipe that leads to a burst. Gallons of water will spill out into your property and cause costly damage.
Winterizing your home and your pipes should be done before the end of the fall. In addition to winterizing the pipes, you should take all the water out of the water heater, drain the water from outside pipes, and fill fixtures with an antifreeze solution.
How to Winterize your Plumbing
Here are the steps you should follow when winterizing your plumbing:
- Make sure your main water valve is shut off and turn off the water pump and heater.
- Open drain valves and all taps in your home. Make sure that you have a list of all your taps and keep track by writing them on a piece of paper to ensure they are all open. You should keep all valves and taps are open for the duration of the winter to make sure that water is not held inside the pipes.
- You can blow extra water out of the pipes by using an air compressor.
- You should also empty out your hot water tank. This can be done via opening the drain valve. However, if there is a floor drain, you may need to empty the hot water tank by connecting a garden hose.
- Get all the water out from the holding tank, this is especially necessary for the area with the rubber diaphragm. Also, make sure to add antifreeze to the jet pump case.
- Your toilets should be flushed to get rid of all the water from the tanks and toilets. If the water can’t be removed fully, make sure to add antifreeze to it which will prevent freezing and cracks in the toilet.
- You should make sure and check all the sink and tub drains that have drain traps. You can prevent freezing by putting antifreeze in each of them.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
First, figure out which pipes are most likely to freeze. You should watch out for pipes that are located within outside walls, in uninsulated areas, and within spaces that are not heated. Make sure to check if there are any cracks in the floors, ceilings, or walls. If there are any holes, make sure you caulk them to ensure no cold air is coming in via those holes.
Here are some tips for preventing frozen pipes in your home this winter:
- Pipes can be insulated with insulation sleeves or by wrapping them with slip-on pipe insulation.
- Check the outside of your property and make sure you seal any spaces that have cracks. If air enters through any cracks, it can cause freezing pipes. If you do have holes, make sure to fill them.
- Always have a heat source inside of your property to protect your pipes.
- You should have your faucets dripping during the coldest weather so that your water does not freeze.
- Your crawl space should be properly insulated. All vents should be blocked with wood or cardboard.
- Make sure to drain outside hose bibs. Also, deactivate them at the shutoff valve.
- Heat tape can be used to protect your pipes from freezing, however, be aware that they can be a fire hazard. Make sure to read the safety recommendations before installing them so you can make sure you prevent a fire at your property.
It is always best to try and prevent freezing pipes in your home to prevent damage to your property. As a homeowner, you should protect your home by making sure that your plumbing is properly prepared for the winter. This will save you the headache of having your home flooded or otherwise ruined by a frozen plumbing disaster that can get very costly. You can winterize your property yourself as a DIY task. However, if you run into any problems where you find a leaky faucet or other issues that you are unable to fix yourself, make sure to call the professionals to avoid additional damage.
Are you dealing with a water damage issue at your property? ServiceMaster S&R Systems can help. We offer water damage restoration and water mitigation services in Aurora, IL, and the surrounding areas. You can experience water damage to your property at any time, but it is especially common in cold harsh winters due to burst pipes, leaks, and overflows. It is important to react quickly and get the water damage cleaned up and your property restored. Call ServiceMaster S&R today at (630) 896-0030 for all your water damage restoration needs in Aurora, IL, and the surrounding areas.