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Fall is upon us and winter is not that far off. Ensure your home is ready for the plunging temperatures and extreme conditions that can send your homes plumbing into dangerous territory. Follow these simple tips and you may just save yourself some money this winter.
1. Clear out the gutters
Having clogged gutters will block the drainage of rain and melting snow. This can result in household leaks and serious damage to your landscape and, more importantly, your foundation. When the trees are close to shedding their last leaves, make some time to clean out your gutters – prepare yourself with a good pair of rubber gloves, a strong ladder and perhaps a handy assistant. Be sure to check the down pipes are clear of debris and caked on dirt by running water down them.
2. Divert Water
Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation. A short visit to your local hardware store will help you get the appropriate extensions you need.
3. Pad your pipes
Even a small frozen pipe can cause huge household damage if it happens to burst. To prevent the incidents, invest in some tubular pipe insulation sleeves from your local hardware store. Cover exposed pipes in unheated areas. These areas include basements, attics, crawl spaces and even cabinets. The pipe sleeves are simple to apply, can be cut to fit and easily removed if necessary. Bends and joints need to be covered as well for this application to be successful. Once this is complete, seal the joints with duct tape and you’re don’t. You’ll not only prevent considerable water damage you’ll conserve energy as well.
4. Turn Off Exterior Faucet
Disconnect all garden hoses and drain the water that remains in the faucets. Undrained water in these pipes can freeze which will cause the pipes to burst the frozen water expands. If you don’t have them already and most homes 15 + years old do not, look into getting frost-proof faucets. In the meantime, ensure you turn the shut-off valve inside your home.
5. Drain Your Lawn-Irrigation System
This is something that you really need to call in a plumber for; this task requires a large air compressor along with the right amount of plumbers anti freeze to complete properly. Draining these system pipes and spigots will help avoid freezing and leaks.
6. Test Your Sump Pump
Pouring several gallons of water into the sump pit is a great way to see if your pump turns on and works sufficiently. Do this every few months; especially after a long dry season or just before a wet/rainy one. Most sump pumps will last 10 years, but you just never know what may happen.