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Three Steps for Winterizing the Home This Holiday Season

winter weather

How to Prepare Pipes for the Cold Winter Months

Water is one of nature’s most unique elements. When it freezes, it expands almost 10 percent of its original size. That in and of itself poses a special threat to homeowners’ plumbing systems. A frozen pipe is more than poor water pressure and non-functioning systems; it can turn into an expensive problem if unaddressed.

Homeowners can avoid frozen or burst pipes this holiday season by winterizing their homes. This involves insulating pipes, removing exterior hoses, and consulting a local frozen pipe repair company.

Homeowners Can Use Fabric, Plastic, and More to Insulate Pipes

Unless one lives in a frigid area, chances are, their home’s interior pipes won’t freeze. The pipes outside that connect to sprinkler systems, outdoor pools, and hoses are a completely different story. Once the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, exposed pipes risk freezing.

To prevent this from happening, homeowners should:

  • Identify all exposed pipes: Residents should check both sides of the home for exposed pipes. They should keep their search low to the ground, as this is where most pipes are installed. They should also check their garages.
  • Insulate their pipes: Using fabric, plastic, rubber, or heated tape, homeowners can protect their pipes from the winter cold. They might even place a box around any exposed pipes to keep cold air from getting through.
  • Periodically check on exposed pipes: Insulating one’s pipes isn’t a one-time thing. It involves checking them every other day for signs of frost and icicles. Homeowners may need to reapply insulation every so often to prevent burst pipes.

Homeowners Should Turn off Outdoor Faucets

As noted, exterior pipes risk freezing. So, homeowners should turn off valves that provide water to hoses, sprinkler systems, and fountains. For extra protection, they should:

  • Remove all hoses: Water that remains in a hose can freeze, expand, and cause serious damage.
  • Disconnect any sprinklers from automatic systems: Even if one cuts off the water supply to their sprinkler system, they should turn off all timers, so they don’t turn on. Remember: one wants to minimize the water standing in external pipes during the holiday season.
  • Periodically turning on the water: This may sound counterintuitive, but consider the following: periodically running water through the pipes blasts through any ice and reduces freezing. This is different from having standing water in the pipes, where it’s likely to freeze. Flowing water rarely freezes. If possible, homeowners should run warm water through their pipes at least once a week.

Homeowners Should Keep the House at 55 Degrees Fahrenheit

The Red Cross notes that homeowners should keep their homes as warm as possible during the winter. In addition to preventing frozen pipes, doing so reduces the likelihood of airborne illnesses, like colds. It also maintains a solid indoor air quality.

Homeowners should check their heating systems regularly to ensure the best possible temperature. They should consider consulting a heating repair company if:

  • The heater makes strange noises
  • The heat in the house is different from the reading on the thermostat
  • There’s leakage or standing water around the heater
  • A homeowner notices high energy bills without a noticeable change in temperature

About Korte Does It All.

Korte Does It All has more than 50 years of experience repairing burst pipes, frozen plumbing systems, and ineffective heaters. In addition to pipe insulation services, they offer same-day pricing, after-hours emergency service, and more. Homeowners in Fort Wayne, IN should prevent frozen pipes this holiday season.

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