Preventing Winter Emergencies

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A few simple preparations now will help prevent headaches and costly repairs throughout the winter months.

Fall is certainly here with chilly temperatures serving as a polite reminder that winter will arrive soon. The depths of winter can come on sudden, often leaving homeowners unprepared for the troubles associated with extreme cold.
The number one problem we run into when the mercury drops is damaged outdoor faucets. Something as simple as disconnecting your water hoses from the faucet can save you from a broken spigot. If left connected, water in the hoses may freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
It is also imperative to make sure your outdoor spouts aren’t dripping or leaking. Make the necessary repairs or call us to give you a hand before the freezing temperatures arrive. When the pipes freeze, water pressure builds causing cracks. Even a tiny crack can unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding.
We also highly recommend closing interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets and draining the lines if your home is equipped with them. Lastly, cover outside faucets using a Styrofoam faucet insulation kit available at home centers or we can supply you with one.
Styrofoam faucet covers can help protect your plumbing from freezing temperatures.
Watch what goes down your drains: Your home’s drains tend to take a beating in the fall and winter, especially with more family meals at home and of course, the holidays. Regardless, be cautious about what you put down the drain. Remember that your kitchen sink is not meant for leftovers; instead, you should dispose of food and grease in the trash before washing dishes.
Pipes that are exposed to the elements have a greater risk of freezing. Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces to cut down your chances of developing a leak.
Your water heater works harder during winter months. Flush it out and remove sediment buildup, which causes corrosion, shortens life span and reduces heating efficiency. Drain it yourself or to make your life easier—call us! Check the temperature setting on your water heater’s thermostat. Set it at 120°F for optimum performance.
Clear leaves and debris from outside gutters and downspouts to ensure easy drainage when water freezes and thaws throughout the winter season.
If your home has a sump pump make sure to inspect and clean the pump and pit. Pumps exposed to extreme cold can freeze, preventing the pump from operating.
These tips are intended for homes that will be inhabited throughout the winter months. Many additional steps should be taken to winterize vacation properties that will be left unattended for weeks or months at a time. We can give you a hand winterizing such properties.
Snow Bird Winterizing
If you and your family are not going to be home over the winter season, then you ought to take steps to winterize your home’s plumbing system. One of the most critical parts of that system is your toilet. Your ceramic toilet can be significantly damaged by frozen water because ceramic is porous and will crack as water freezes and expands. To prevent expensive accidents, winterize your toilet by following these three steps.
CALL NOW: 612-444-3540
Our friendly technicians would be happy to inspect or repair any plumbing problems you may have. Have a warm and festive fall!
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