Is Your Home Winter-Ready?
As fall comes to an end, it’s time to think about preparing for winter. Getting your home winter-ready can help keep your utility bills and other costs under control.
Having a pipe explode in your wall during winter is a tragedy you want to avoid at all costs. If you have to call a plumber under extreme circumstances, you will end up paying a fortune. Then, there will be the cost to repair the water damage to the home on top of that. A busted pipe is a worst-case scenario if not prepared for cold weather, but it’s easily avoidable.
Focus on thinly insulated walls that have pipes behind them to get your home winter-ready. These pipes are the most likely to freeze and can usually be found close to bathrooms and kitchens. To avoid this risk, add more insulation to these thinner walls. Simply pick up some batt insulation from your local hardware store and fill the wall cavity between studs. Another way to get pipes winter-ready is to get an insulated sleeve to cover them. You should do this to all the pipes in the parts of your home that don’t get heated. For areas with frigid weather and prolonged freezes, you may need to consider pouring radiator fluid into drain traps near showers and sinks that you use less.
Before winter hits, detach all water hoses around your home. Water left inside hoses can freeze and damage pipes or spigots that are attached. Shut off the water flow to spigots outdoors. Then, open the spigots to drain the water. Leave the spigots open to relieve any pressure that may build up as weather changes. Hardware stores sell insulation kits for faucets and spigots to further protect against winter.
Set your water heater to 120-140 degrees. The temp will vary with the territory and personal preference.
Seal your home against the cold with caulking areas like windows, vents, and doors. Also, seal the seams of heating ducts with duct tape.
Clear out your gutters and downspouts to prevent clogs. Obstructions to water flow will leave water behind that could freeze and cause ruptures or other damage.