The freezing weather of winter can wreak havoc on homes and irrigation systems. As water freezes, it expands, this expansion causes a build-up of pressure in many areas of a home such as irrigation. When the pressure reaches a point, it can cause pipes to burst, endangering the home. Take time to protect your home now and avoid costly stress later. If you need more information and additional winterizing tips for your home, contact me I am happy to share the full checklist.
Pipes are the most susceptible to the winter chill. Even if a system has been insulated with a Styrofoam cover, rags, or paper, water should still be drained from exterior piping and shut off before they start to freeze. Along with pipes, hoses should be disconnected and removed from spigots to prevent damage.
If you are located in an area that is susceptible to major freezing, make sure to drain your pool. Both above and below ground pools are at risk of damaging themselves as water inside begins to freeze and expand into the walls of the pool. Reports of damage to pool walls due to freezing is an all too common and costly occurrence among homeowners that neglect to drain their pools for the winter.
One precaution that is typically overlooked is closing exterior air vents. Homes with piping under the floors and crawlspaces can become susceptible to the freezing air that enters through these air vents along the foundation. You can easily protect against freezing air by sealing air vents with something as simple as duct tape that can easily be removed at the end of winter.
Cracks in homes and under doors can be an access point for the winter chill. As cold breezes seep into the home, they can cause the heating unit to work harder in an attempt keep the home warm, causing a higher utility bill than normal for winter months. If you have a much higher utility bill than average for winter, I advise checking for and sealing opening within the home.
Locate Shutoff Valves
Should the event of a pipe bursting occur, you should be prepared by knowing where your shutoff valve is located. The water shutoff valve for a home is typically along the water line that comes to your home from the street. This valve will shut off the water to the entire house, preventing water damage from a burst pipe no matter where it is located within the home. Don’t take any chances if you suspect a pipe has frozen. If you turn on a faucet and nothing comes out you should leave the faucet turned on, use the shutoff valve, then call a plumber.