First, Figure Out What Needs Winterizing
First things first, you need to identify which pipes in your home are going to be the most prone to freezing. These will be any pipes that are uninsulated, located outdoors, or located indoors but in unheated areas such as garages.
There are a few good DIY options for insulating your pipes. You can slip insulation sleeves over them, cover them with foam pipe insulation, or wrap heat tape around them. All of these measures work well to help prevent pipes from freezing.
Repair Cracks and Seal Openings
Repair any cracks in outdoor walls to prevent cold and moisture from getting through. You can use either spray foam or caulking to patch up the cracks quickly and easily. You’ll also want to inspect any crawl-space openings to make sure they are properly sealed and insulated before the cold season hits.
Hoses and Hose Bibs
First, deactivate your hose bib and remove any accessories such as timers or diverters, then allow any excess water to drain out. To insulate your hose bibs for the season, cover it with a Styrofoam insulated hose bib cover (available in different sizes at most hardware stores).
Disconnect all of your garden hoses for the winter so that they don’t freeze. Make sure you store your hoses properly over the winter months. Coil them up and place them in an area that is protected from the elements, such as in a garage or a garden shed.
Outdoor Water Features
If you have a garden fountain or other outdoor water feature, you’ll need to shut it down for the winter. Disconnect the water, drain any remaining water, and give it a good scrub.
If there is a sudden cold snap and you’re worried about your pipes freezing, there are a few things you can do in the moment to prevent that from happening.
If you know that it’s going to be an extremely cold night, allow your taps to drip a little bit overnight. Having that slight bit of water flowing through constantly will help to keep the pipes from freezing and bursting.
Another thing you can do during a sudden cold snap is to simply open up the cupboards underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. This lets heat from the house into the cabinet and helps to gently warm up the pipes beneath the sink.
Oh, and if your pipes do freeze, don’t try to warm them up with a blowtorch. Seriously, it happens. Instead, call the experts at Lone Star. We can help you with any plumbing emergencies that could come up as well as routine maintenance and repairs.