As winter approaches, homeowners often focus on preparing their homes for the colder months. While many pay attention to insulation, heating systems, and sealing drafts, one crucial aspect that often goes overlooked is plumbing maintenance. Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, leading to costly repairs and inconveniences. Handling some plumbing maintenance tasks before the weather gets cold can save you a lot of trouble and headaches.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
One of the primary concerns during winter is the potential for pipes to freeze and burst. Pipes that are located in unheated areas, such as attics, basements, or crawl spaces, are especially vulnerable. To prevent this, insulate exposed pipes with foam pipe insulation. This affordable solution helps retain heat and protects pipes from freezing temperatures.
Check for Leaks
Before winter sets in, thoroughly inspect your plumbing system for any leaks. Even minor leaks can lead to significant problems in freezing conditions. Fixing leaks promptly not only conserves water but also prevents the formation of ice patches that could compromise the integrity of your pipes.
Drain Outdoor Faucets and Sprinkler Systems
Outdoor faucets and irrigation systems are prone to freezing. To avoid burst pipes and other damage, disconnect and drain water from hoses and outdoor faucets. Additionally, if you have an underground sprinkler system, turn off the water supply and drain the system to prevent water from freezing and causing pipes to burst.
Protect Your Water Heater
Your water heater works hard during the winter to provide you with warm water. To ensure its optimal performance, flush the tank to remove sediment buildup. Sediment can reduce the efficiency of the water heater and lead to higher energy bills. Check for any signs of corrosion or leaks and address them promptly. Consider insulating the water heater and pipes to minimize heat loss.
Locate and Insulate Drafts
Inspect your home for drafts, especially around windows and doors. Cold drafts can cause exposed pipes to freeze more quickly. Seal any gaps or cracks with weatherstripping or caulk to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
Shut Off and Drain Unused Plumbing
If you have a guest bathroom or unused plumbing fixtures in your home, consider shutting off the water supply to these areas. Drain the pipes to prevent freezing and potential damage. This precautionary step can save you from dealing with unexpected issues when the temperatures drop.
Keep the Heat On
Maintain a consistent indoor temperature, even when you’re away from home. Sudden drops in temperature can lead to frozen pipes. Set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that your home remains warm enough to prevent freezing.
Call Mahon Plumbing Today
If you still have more questions regarding your plumbing, we here at Mahon Plumbing are here to help. We have been serving the wider Baltimore area since 1994, so we have 25 years of experience to back up our fantastic service! Call us at our Baltimore location at 410-766-8566 or our Pasadena location at 410-636-7944. Be sure to keep up with us on social media by following us on Facebook or Twitter.