How to Prepare One’s Home for Winter Weather
The Red Cross notes that without proper precautions, homeowners risk frozen and burst pipes, both of which threaten a home’s habitability. Frozen and burst pipes do more than prevent efficient water flow; they can damage the home’s foundation, soak drywall, and cause thousands of dollars in losses.
Homeowners can minimize these risks by insulating their pipes, turning off outdoor faucets, and maintaining consistent indoor temperatures. They may also consider partnering with a frozen pipe repair company that can provide more information.
Use Rubber, Heat Tape, and Fabric to Insulate Pipes
From there, they can insulate these pipes using one or more of the following materials:
- Rubber: Rubber’s a great insulator, which is why it’s commonly used on pot handles and inside car engines. A homeowner can purchase rubber at their local home improvement store or hire a burst pipe repair company to apply the insulation for them.
- Heat tape: Surprisingly, heat tape isn’t an adhesive. Instead, it's the coating around electrical wires. When applied to a pipe’s exterior, it keeps the water inside from reaching 32 degrees Fahrenheit––the freezing point of water.
- Fabric: Homeowners can prevent frozen pipes by cutting a sheet into long strips. Then, they should wind the fabric around the lines––like a bandage. This is a cost-effective, easy way to keep exterior pipes from freezing or bursting.
Homeowners can also insulate their pipes by keeping their homes at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. One may consider upgrading to a smart home thermostat or cleaning their home’s vents to get the best possible performance.
Turn Off Exterior Pipes
During the summer, hoses and sprinkler systems do a great job of maintaining a healthy lawn. During the winter, however, these conveniences turn into hazards. Water that remains in a hose can freeze and expand up to nine percent of its original size, causing burst pipes, water damage, and more.
Before these components freeze, homeowners should remove all hoses, connectors, and splitters. They should also:
- Periodically run water through these systems: Homeowners should turn on their hoses for a few minutes on a mild-weathered day. Water that flows through the pipes and hoses cuts away at any ice or frost. They should immediately cut the water supply to these systems afterward, however. Remember: still water means frozen water––and frozen water means burst pipes.
- Turn off automatic timers: If one’s sprinkler system runs on an automatic timer, they should disable those systems during the winter. While water running through a system can actually reduce frozen pipes, water that remains in the system can freeze.
- Drain any fountains: This may involve pouring the water out of a fountain and disconnecting any hoses or connecting pipes.
Check the Home’s Heater
As noted, one should keep their home’s interior temperature at 55 degrees or higher to prevent frozen pipes. Anything below this temperature threatens the plumbing system’s efficiency. When checking the home’s heater, one should look for:
- Leaks around the heating system
- Any odd noises coming from the heater
- Whether the thermostat delivers appropriate readings
- Suddenly pricey energy bills
Homeowners can consult HVAC professionals in their areas to learn more about checking their heating systems.
About Laney’s Inc.
Laney’s Inc. has decades of experience serving its local community. From pipe insulation services to heater repairs, these professionals handle everything. Interested parties can reach out to these professionals today to learn more about their heating services.