If you are not vigilant with your plumbing system, you will find that a drop in temperatures can pose a serious risk to the integrity of your pipes and system as a whole. And if you have chosen to travel during the colder months, you will get back home to significant water damage. Thus, it is essential for all homeowners to know how to reduce the risk of plumbing problems particularly when the winter months roll around. The first thing to do is to establish where your main shut off valve is located. Surprisingly, some homeowners do not know where this valve is because they have never had to turn off their water supply. Nevertheless, knowing how to cut your water supply can be crucial during a plumbing emergency. Here are additional tips for your checklist to help you prevent winter-related plumbing emergencies.
Ensure all plumbing leaks are addressed
Water leaks in your plumbing system are a grave concern as they pose the risk of damage to your structure. Add freezing temperatures to the equation and you will have a bomb waiting to explode. When the temperatures drop, the water inside your pipes is likely to freeze. If your house has a leak, this means your entire plumbing system could be coated with water, and this significantly increases the chances of cracks on the piping. It is recommended to have a plumber carry out a site inspection to determine whether there are any undetected leaks in your premises, and remedy them before winter rolls around.
Ensure your pipes are insulated
Another measure you can take for the protection of your plumbing system is to keep your pipes insulated. If your pipes are warm, there is a decreased risk of water freezing inside of them. Pay special attention to pipes that are in hard to reach areas such as crawl spaces and in the garage. Not only would neglecting them put them at higher risk of damage, but these areas also tend to be colder than the rest of your home too. An efficient way of insulating your pipes would be through the use of insulation foam that easily wraps around the piping.
Drain all your exterior taps
Outdoor taps are typically ignored when they are not needed for exterior applications. As a result, the outside taps tend to be prone to damage in the winter due to water lingering inside them. Whether you plan on travelling or not, it is essential to drain all your exterior taps, which prevents ice forming inside them. Additionally, disconnect and drain all garden hoses that are connected to these taps.