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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Winterize Your Plumbing Now

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water pipes are wrapped in insulation Take simple steps to winterize your home's plumbing, and you could save yourself many thousands of dollars worth of water damage.

Whether you stay home or travel south for the winter, one thing you must do to prevent costly water damage in your home is to prepare your pipes for the winter. When water in a pipe freezes, it expands, which can burst that pipe open. You could suffer tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home and belongings in mere hours. Avoid that kind of trouble by winterizing your pipes.

If You’re Staying Home

Even if you will be in your home all winter, using your plumbing as usual, certain pipes and fixtures can still freeze in cold weather. When the temperature drops, take these steps to prevent a flood in your home.

  • Locate all the plumbing that runs along the inside of your exterior walls. Protect these pipes from the cold by insulating them with foam-like wrap and using duct or electrical tape to keep it in place. Then, wrap your pipes that run through unheated spaces, like attics, crawlspaces and basements.
  • Shut off your hose bibs (the outside faucets where you connect your hoses) by locating the inside shut-off valves for these fixtures (commonly found under the kitchen sink) and turn them off. Then, go outside and disconnect the hoses if they are in place. Now, turn on the hose bibs to allow any water inside the pipe to drain. Turn off the outside shut-off valves, too. (No water will flow to the hose bib while the shut-offs are engaged, so write yourself a note to open them back up in the spring.)

If You’re Going to Be Away

If you travel for any length of time during the winter, or you own a property that you don’t live in full-time, winterizing is a must. Unattended plumbing systems are much, much more likely to fall prey to winter weather.

  • Begin by turning off your main water valve. The valve may be in the basement or near the crawl space, when either is present. You may also find main valves in the same room with the water heater.
  • Go outside and turn on your hose bib (the outside faucet) to allow water to drain out of all the pipes. If you have a basement, turn on any faucets there to drain the water.
  • In winter, ordinary water may freeze in your fixture’s traps and rupture your pipes. Buy a large bottle of windshield wiper fluid, which won’t freeze, and pour about 2 cups of this fluid into each drain, including sinks, showers and bathtubs. The liquid will drain down to the trap and stay there. Finally, pour about 4 cups of the fluid into each toilet (but don’t flush).

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield at 860-216-2785

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