As the weather turns colder homeowners should take steps to protect their home’s plumbing system. If left unprotected, cold weather can cause costly damage to pipes, fixtures, and water heaters. Here are some steps to help protect your home’s plumbing system in cold weather:
1. Insulate Exposed Pipes: Exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home such as the garage, attic, or basement should be insulated. This will help keep the pipes from freezing in cold weather. You can use foam insulation that fits snugly around the pipes or even newspaper.
2. Keep Cabinet Doors Open: When the temperature drops, open the cabinet doors in the bathroom and kitchen to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. This will help keep the pipes from freezing.
3. Disconnect Outdoor Hoses: When the weather turns cold, make sure to disconnect any outdoor hoses from the faucet. This will prevent freezing water from damaging the faucet or pipes.
4. Seal Cracks and Holes: Check your home’s exterior for any cracks or holes in the foundation or walls. These can act as an entry point for cold air, which can cause pipes inside the walls to freeze. Make sure to seal any cracks or holes you find.
5. Set the Thermostat: If your home will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, make sure to set the thermostat to at least 55°F. This will ensure that the temperature inside the home stays above freezing, even if the outside temperature drops.
By taking these steps to protect your home’s plumbing system in cold weather, you’ll help prevent costly repairs and keep your home safe and comfortable.
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Tom Schlotter, licensed home inspector.