Okay, all you procrastinators out there, I’ve got a tip for you! We’re going to have a stretch of somewhat warm weather for the next week or so, and that means you still have time to do some last minute winterizing of your home. Let’s face it, the job is easier to do when it’s 40 degrees outside rather than 5 below zero. Here’s what we’re talking about…
You want to keep your plumbing system in great shape year ‘round in order to minimize the chance of having a serious problem, like a burst pipe in your home. If you’re not careful, winter can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. So throughout this month we’re going to give you some basic plumbing maintenance tips that will help you avoid problems. Here are two simple ones to get started.
Insulating pipes in cold areas. Both cold and hot water pipes can freeze if they’re exposed to severe cold. You need to check crawl spaces are areas near the outside of your home to see if you have pipes that are at risk of freezing. If so, get some pipe insulation from the hardware store and get busy. You can use foam padding or insulating tape to wrap pipes and help keep them from freezing. Keep an eye on them during the severe cold spells that often plague Cleveland winters. If necessary, keep the pipes warm with a space heater from a safe distance. Remember to turn the heater off at bedtime or when leaving the house.
Attend to your outdoor spigots and hoses. Disconnect hoses and store them in the basement, shed or garage. Close the shut-off valve on the pipe that goes to the outdoor spigot and be sure to drain any water from it. You can keep the spigot open slightly to make sure there’s no water entrapment. It’s also a good idea to cover the spigot with a styrofoam cover that can be easily attached with elastic draw strings. This will keep snow off the spigot and help keep it dry.
These are two really simple things that can help you avoid a disaster like a frozen or burst pipe. It’s worth taking a little time and spending a little money to avoid the big headaches. We’ll have some more tips for you next week. In the meantime, enjoy the warmup this week.