With Fall comes temperate weather and beautiful colors; but Winter weather looms and can wreak havoc on your home if you are unprepared. Here are a couple things that you can do to make sure your home is ready for the colder temperatures.
First, be sure to clean out all window wells and outside drains. As Fall leaves drop, they clog up the drains that allow rainwater to flow smoothly. If those drains are clogged, water will build up and potentially cause damage by entering your home.
Second, winterize your hose bibs. These are the outdoor water faucets that protrude from your home. This four-step process takes only a few minutes to complete, but is critical to keeping your home problem-free.
Whether your hose bibs are freeze proof or not, it is very important to remove the hoses, splitters, and any connections from the spigot during winter. Not removing hoses or any other connections from the hose bib can trap water and cause the fixture to freeze. You may be tempted to use outside faucets until the very point of freezing weather, but it’s best to preempt the cold weather and disconnect hoses early to prevent freezing weather from breaking your pipes.
Check for leaks and drips. If you find any, repair or replace the fixture before the temperature drops to freezing. Even slow dripping water can freeze in the pipe or fixture.
Get as much water as you can out of the pipes. Turn off the water to the hose bibs; then, turn on the spigots to drain any water that remains in the pipes.
Protect the faucet with insulation. An easy way to do this is to install a hose bib cover on each outdoor fixture. Hose bib covers are square or dome shaped to fit right over outdoor faucets. They are made of thick foam and are quite effective at keeping most of the cold away from the valve. Hose bib covers can be found in most hardware or home improvement stores and are very inexpensive and easy to install. This final step is optional, but it can give you added peace of mind that your hose bibs will work properly in the spring when the weather warms up.
With your home ready for the colder weather, sit back and enjoy the season!