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Posted on: November 1, 2018

Preparing Your Pipes & Drains For The Winter

Cold weather is quickly approaching and as the cold weather sneaks up on us, it’s time to remember to take care of our drains and pipes.

It’s not a glamorous job but the results of putting it off and not doing what needs to be done can be costly, in time and money.

Remember when water freezes it expands. It does the same thing in our pipes and drains and that expansion has nowhere to go, until something breaks. Usually when this happens, it’s more than the pipe or drain that has to be replaced.

Below are a few things to remember to save yourself the expense and frustration of damage from broken pipes.

Outdoor faucets

Remember to remove all hoses and drain them. You want to make sure that all the pipes leading up to that outdoor faucet are well insulated so that they don’t freeze and break.

If it’s a faucet you only use in the garden during the growing months, it may be a good idea to turn the water off to that outside faucet, open the spigot and drain the remaining water and leave it like this until next spring.

Insulate your pipes

While the pipes under your house are not outside in the weather, it still gets cold under there. You’ll want to make sure you have some sort of insulation and/or heat tape wrapped around the pipes that may be underneath your home and any out-building.

If you already have insulation and a heat tape wrapping, you’ll want to check and make sure they are still in good condition to make it through this next cold season. You don’t want to be under the house repairing or replacing these things when it’s freezing cold outside.

Check for draughts

Cracks and holes in foundations and footings can bring freezing temperatures to your pipes and drains that would not otherwise be exposed to the outside temperatures. Make sure you’ve checked around all foundations and footings where you may have any water pipes and/or drains. You’ll want to repair large cracks and plug holes with insulation, a spray foam insulation or something else to block the frigid weather and make sure it remains outside and not under your house.

Gutters and Downspouts

Make sure your gutters are cleaned out so that any water that gets in there can flow properly. You’ll also want to make sure all your downspouts are properly cleaned to make sure any water that may fall can flow easily and not get backed up.

If leaves remain a problem, you may want to purchase gutter covers. These covers are made so that water can flow freely, but debris doesn’t collect inside your gutters. This will help ensure your downspouts remain clean throughout the season.

Time to Fix the Leaks

If you’ve noticed any leaking pipes or faucets around your home, now is the time to fix them. These leaks can quickly become ice. Ice formation can not only be dangerous, but it can ruin or cause harm to concrete and other materials.

Make sure you check around your home and any other buildings that have water to ensure there are no leaks that may cause issues later.

Taking a little bit of time on the front end of the cold season can save you a ton of time and money in the long run. Make a few laps around your home, use a torch and look under your home and fix anything you see that needs done. Then sit back, curl up by the fire and relax knowing you have it taken care of.

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