Cold weather and freezing temperatures are not something to look forward to, especially when you are a homeowner. Winterizing a home helps prepare for unexpected emergencies that can drain the pocketbook. As every homeowner knows, outside faucets, water hoses and water pipes in unheated basements and crawl spaces can and will freeze if not properly protected from frost and ice. Following are 5 quick and easy tips to prepare your Shenandoah Valley plumbing for winter this season.
To ensure against waking up on a bitter cold morning to frozen water pipes, it is best not to wait until winter arrives to protect water pipes from freezing. Let an experienced plumber safely check all water pipes to be sure there are no leaks, then he or she can properly insulate them for you so they won’t freeze.
While some pipes are noticeable and easy to get to, others may not be. Crawl spaces are drafty as are unheated basements. Wrapping insulation around all water pipes will keep them from freezing. Some plumbers suggest using heat tape while others use insulation or foam rubber sleeves. Before insulating, check for moisture on the pipes. Dry them thoroughly, then insulate.
Often we forget that water can freeze in outside hoses and water spigots as well as inside pipes. A plumber will drain hoses and water spigots before cold weather arrives. It is important to drain them, especially if you plan on leaving home for any period of time during the winter months. Frozen pipes often result in broken pipes and replacing them can be costly.
Check to see if cold air is entering your home in areas that are unnoticeable, then seal them with caulking. Older homes often have basements with stone walls. Be sure that all areas are sealed to protect water from freezing.
Mobile home owners and those who live in homes without a basement may want to leave kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors open when temperatures fall below freezing. This allows warm air to keep pipes warm so that the water doesn’t freeze. While this may not always be enough to keep the water from freezing, especially if you have not wrapped them in insulation, it should help.
Prepare your Shenandoah Valley plumbing for winter this fall by being proactive. Have plumbing problems or questions? Call Powell’s Plumbing, your Shenandoah Valley plumbing experts today at 540-636-8196. We also service 18 other counties in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.