Prepping Pipes For Winter
Prepping pipes for the cold winter is essential in maintaining its health. You’ve enjoyed your cottage, lodge, or cabin as much as humanly possible this year—in fact, you’ve squeezed every last moment out of your cherished holiday house, trying to escape the city or the doldrums of work.
But now it’s time to face the facts: once again, winter is upon us, and you’re going to have to wait through another four months of cold wind, snow, and ice before you can enjoy another relaxing getaway. For you, it’s high time you made sure you cottage’s plumbing systems are outfitted for another winter. Here are a few things to remember when winterizing any vacant dwelling.
How Can You Begin Prepping Pipes?
Obviously, you’re going to want to have some heat flowing through the premises to not turn your property into an ice cube. Some residual heat through the house is absolutely essential. Pipes are most likely to freeze if they’re exposed to the elements, either outdoors or underground. Fiberglass and polyethylene are great for insulation, as is heat tape. If your pipes have sustained damage in the recent past, be extra careful when applying an insulating tube or tape. Of course, not everyone is experienced in insulating pipes, so get in contact with us at HY-PRO Plumbing and Drain Cleaning if you need some help!
Know where your emergency shutoff valve is in case of any burst pipes, but always drain your pipes before leaving the premises. This means shutting off the water supply, opening up a faucet at the highest point in your plumbing system (and by highest, we mean furthest from the ground), and opening another faucet (or drain valve) at the lowest (often in a basement water heater). Make sure you have a bailing bucket with you while you open the drain valve in your water heater; since you’ve got another faucet open above, the water will come out quickly. This might take you anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes to finish, and may require an assistant!
You may need to blow water from dips and valleys in your piping system—and you may need help with this step. Moreover, you’re going to have to pour antifreeze into your drains so that it can coat your pipes. If you’re not comfortable doing any of these steps, or for help with any other plumbing concern, contact our drainage experts and we’ll get it done for you with speed and efficiency!
Cold air is your main enemy, so do what you can to allow for heat to reach your pipes. Leave cabinet/cupboard doors open to allow access. Make sure that exterior cracks in your home’s walls are filled in to avoid infiltrating breezes. If you have a cold crawlspace or unheated basement, make sure that it’s sealed off from the elements. This is especially appropriate for homes with ventilated space beneath the main floors.
Any cracked glass in your basement could allow cold air in to damage your pipes. Garages and other outdoor areas might have insufficient insulation, so be sure to check that there aren’t cold drafts and weakened areas. If you have open vents that can’t be easily closed, you can always cover them with thick cardboard.
Protect Your Investment
You, of course, want to protect your investment, so knowing your home’s plumbing and drainage issues is an absolute must. Contact us at any time to help you winterize the pipes in a home, cottage, getaway, or any place that’s going to be unoccupied for an extended period. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are happy to help you with all your drainage concerns.