Here are some tips to help protect your property.
- Air Leaks – Seal off access doors, vents and any foundation cracks. When a cold wind blows it is amazing how even the smallest crack allows cold air in and could possibly freeze exposed water pipes. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in your garage.
- Basement/Crawl Spaces – Close foundation or exterior vents around to help keep cold air out of crawl spaces.
- Exposed Pipes – Insulate any pipes or faucets in unheated areas. If you have water pipes in an unheated garage or crawl space under the house, wrap them before temperatures plummet.
- Going Away – If you will be going away during cold weather, it is generally advisable to leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.
- Hoses – Disconnect and drain your outdoor hoses. If there is a shut off and drain inside your house, turn that off and drain the water back.
- Irrigation System – Turn off and drain your irrigation system. This task only takes a few minutes and can save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs and water bills next spring when you get your system up and going again
- Swimming Pools – Drain water from pool and supply lines and either use a compressor to force all the water out of the lines or use nontoxic antifreeze to protect your system.
- Very Cold Weather – It may be advisable to open kitchen and bathroom cabinets on outside walls of your home during very cold weather. This allows warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of reach of children.
- Water Main – Everyone in the house should know the location of your main water shut off. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house you can minimize the damage by turning this valve off. If you are going to be away for any extended period of time it is usually advisable to turn the water main off, just in case.