How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

With temperatures quickly dropping, making way for winter, it’s time to make sure that your home and your pipes don’t get taken by surprise when the mercury really starts to dip.  It’s that time of year when you need to walk around your home to check for all of those tricky places where the cold winter air could affect your home’s inner workings, including your pipes.  After all, you don’t want to wake up one morning to find that your pipes are frozen! No. The time to winterize your home is now.

So, let’s take a look at some ways you can prepare your home and pipes for the cold weather ahead:  

  • If you don’t already know where your water service shut off valve is, now is the time to locate it.  In the event that your pipes freeze or burst, you’ll need to shut off your water immediately to prevent further damage and flooding.  
  • If any of your windows are broken or not sealed properly to where they’re leaking in cold air, now is the time to make repairs.  You don’t want that cold air settling in your home, because it could affect your pipes.
  • Take the time now to identify areas of your home that are not protected from cold weather.  This includes places that are not insulated or that are not heated. You’ll want to insulate all exterior walls, seal openings near doors and windows, and protect exposed pipes as well as your water meters by wrapping them with insulation.
  • Eliminate access to cold air by closing inside valves that supply any outdoor spigots or hose bibs.  Just be sure to open and drain outside bibs, and drain hoses completely before removing and storing them.  

Steps to Take If Your Pipes Freeze

If you still find yourself faced with frozen pipes after you’ve winterized your home, you’ll need to take the following steps to remedy the situation before it gets out of control:

  • Shut off the water supply off immediately.
  • Don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes until you’ve shut the water off.  
  • Once the water supply has been shut off, you can try heating the frozen pipes with a hair dryer, space heater, or hot water (not boiling).  But, DO NOT leave any of these devices or heaters unattended (while on), just sitting on your pipes. Not only is this a fire hazard, you could overheat the pipe and cause more damage.    
  • Once you’ve thawed the pipe, turn the water supply back on, and check for leaks.  Freezing can cause small cracks in your pipes, the joints, and even with the water meters, so watch carefully.  
  • If you’re faced with a more severe situation, like a burst pipe, leak, or water meter break, call in your trusty plumber to schedule a consultation and repair.

Before winter settles in, make sure that you know what areas of your home are going to be most vulnerable to freezing.  These areas usually include basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms, and outside walls. And, if you have any questions or concerns about winterizing your home at all, give our team a call.  We’re here to ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe and cozy in your home this winter.


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