Winter brings freezing temperatures, chilly winds, and snowstorms. As you bundle up with thick clothes to protect yourself, bundle your home up through winterization. These suggestions should get you started on safeguarding your home in the winter.
Let Faucets Drip
When temperatures reach the twenties or lower, there’s a chance the pipes could freeze when the faucet is off. Protect your pipes by letting the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room faucets drip. Adjust them until a thin stream of water passes through. Moving water is less likely to freeze than water that’s standing still. Continue to do this all day and all night until temperatures reach above the freezing level. Resume when temperatures reach those temperatures again.
Maintain Warm Indoor Temperatures
It should always be warm in your home during the winter. During chilly nights, indoor temperatures should not drop below 55 degrees. Temperatures dropping below 55 degrees increase the risk of frozen and burst pipes. Even when you are not at home, keep the indoor heat on. Check periodically to make sure the heating unit and thermostat are working and the home is warm.
Open Plumbing Cabinets
Another way to prevent freezing pipes is to open cabinets with plumbing inside. That guides warm air inside and stops them from freezing. When they stay warm, the water inside them will not freeze. Open cabinets underneath the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and laundry room sink.
Outdoor plumbing, sprinkler systems, and garage plumbing need protection from cold weather. Therefore, cover exposed pipes, knobs, and sprinklers with foam insulation pipe sleeves, outdoor faucet covers, or heat tape. That prevents frozen pipes and burst pipes. Using two or all three options is better than choosing one.
Hire a professional to insulate the crawlspace plumbing and close the crawlspace opening. The door should be tight, and no air should get inside. If the crawlspace has vents, cover those vents with thick cardboard. Insulate garage doors if there is plumbing in the garage.
Seal Air Gaps
You need as much warm air inside the house as possible. Gaps, holes, and cracks will let warm air escape outside and invite cold air indoors. That causes the heater to stay on longer as it needs to warm the chilly air. Sealing gaps with caulk, fabric, or weatherstripping will stop this.
The primary places to look are doors and windows. Use caulking to seal the window frame gaps. Use weatherstripping to seal up door frame cracks or stuff fabric in them. Secure the bottom with a door snake, door sweep, or rolled-up fabric.
Check walls, sidings, attic, basement, closets, fireplaces, and ceilings for gaps. Seal holes and cracks with caulk on the inside and spray foam insulation or caulk on the outside. Additionally, keep garage doors shut.
The purpose of winterizing your home is to prevent heat loss and frozen pipes from happening to it. Exterior and interior walls should block the tiniest chill from entering. Plumbing pipes should stay warm, and the water should not freeze in extreme temperatures. That becomes more important when you’re not home. Autumn is the best time to get this process going.