How to Get Your Pipes Prepared For the Winter
Ah, winter—it’s the perfect time of year to get cozy with a good book, drink hot chocolate, and maybe even sit around the fire.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing to ruin this vision quite like a burst pipe.
Water damage is a common insurance claim in South Carolina and across the US, but having it happen in the dead of winter is no one’s idea of fun. If you’re worried about keeping your pipes safe, you’re not alone.
We’ve put together a list to help you prepare for winter with a little more peace of mind. Here’s what to do.
1. Turn Off Your Outdoor Faucets
Go outside and open your faucet, draining any water out of the pipe to keep it from freezing in cold weather. You should also disconnect and store your hose, as water-filled hoses are prone to freezing.
You may want to also invest in insulated covers for your hose bibs. These inexpensive covers can help slow heat loss, and they can be found with ease at most home improvement centers.
2. Insulate Your Pipes
Insulating your pipes is critical for winter and beyond. If your plumbing runs through any unheated areas, including basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces, you should insulate them before the first cold snap of the season.
This project is an easy DIY. Get some quality foam padding or heat tape, depending on the size and type of pipes in the area.
Don’t forget to also make sure the area itself is properly insulated, not just the pipes. Make sure your attic and basement insulation is up-to-date if you haven’t recently checked.
You should also look around for any holes or openings, which you can seal with caulk or expandable foam. Make sure to pay special attention to spaces near vents and holes where your pipes or cables pass through. Don’t forget to insulate the garage door as well, as this is a common culprit for heat loss within a garage.
3. Consider Heat Cables
While pipe insulation is a great place to start, one additional upgrade can help you avoid the need for emergency plumbing services.
Consider buying heat cables, which can automatically sense the temperature of your pipe and turn on and off to warm them as needed. You can find these online or at most major home improvement stores. To make the most of this investment, cover the heat cable with insulation as well.
4. Get Wi-Fi Notifications
For homeowners who live in ice-prone areas, a simple thermostat upgrade can give you peace of mind. If you haven’t already, consider investing in a thermostat that connects with your smartphone. Most modern thermostats offer settings that alert you once the temperature in your home drops to a certain level, and some can even send an alert to a landline phone if needed.
Of course, you should also stay on top of our local weather conditions, as this can help you know when it’s time to pay close attention to your pipes.
Start to Prepare for Winter Today
Don’t put off these simple best practices! We advise homeowners in the Greenville area to prepare for winter by mid-fall, allowing you plenty of time to take care of your pipes before the coldest weather sets in. Of course, don’t forget to check on your pipes often in the event of a storm as well.
If you do find yourself dealing with a frozen or burst pipe, even with these tips in mind, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Our qualified team is always standing by to help, so contact us at any time.