Unless you live in an area of the country that is warm year-round, chances are that at this time of year, you're thinking about how to prepare your house for the winter. While all the systems in your home deserve attention, your plumbing system especially needs a few quick adjustments to make sure that it survives as the temperature outside starts to drop. Below are a few ways that you can get your home's plumbing in order, but if you're uncomfortable doing any of them, contact a professional that offers these types of plumbing services. The last thing you want to do is leave your home unprepared when the temperature outside dips below freezing.
Wrap Exposed Pipes
Take a roll of heat tape or insulation and head up to your attic and then down to the basement. Look for all the exposed pipes that you see running throughout the house and wrap them thoroughly. You may not think that these areas are prone to temperature fluctuations, but the insulation in your attic and in your basement is usually not as well-developed as the ones inside your house, which means these areas are susceptible to more extreme temperatures. Wrapping them ensures that they maintain a reasonable temperature year-round.
Plug the Gaps
An HVAC technician may recommend that you need to fill in gaps around your windows to minimize energy loss in your home, but a plumber will tell you to look for the areas where the pipes are going out of your walls as well. You may not be able to see it, but these little entrances and exits usually have a small gap that allows air to escape. While the energy loss can be substantial, the danger in the wintertime is the cold air that can come in and freeze these pipes. The best thing you can do is clog up these areas with extra insulation. If the gaps are especially wide, contact a plumbing company to help.
Cover Your Faucets
Some people believe that the best way to keep your external faucets from freezing is to allow them to drip. While this may be true in some climates, in areas where the temperatures regularly dip below freezing, that technique won't work. A space of even a few minutes in between drips is enough time for the water inside your pipes to freeze and then burst inside your walls once they heat back up. Faucet covers are fairly inexpensive and can be found at your local hardware store. This procedure can cost substantially less than a plumbing repair call, so it's one of the easiest ways that you can prepare your home this winter.
Contact a plumbing service for more information.