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A Beginner's Guide to Winterizing Your Pipes

by Todd & Lisa McLain 01/03/2022

Your home's plumbing is extremely susceptible to winter temperatures. However, there are some steps you can take to prevent damage and protect your pipes from freezing even in the harshest winter weather. Here are some basic tips for winterizing your plumbing at home:

Know How to Turn Off Your Water Main

One of the most important aspects of plumbing maintenance is knowing where and how to shut off your water completely. This is especially important if you notice or suspect a leak, but can also help you in winterizing your home. Find your home's isolation valve and make sure that you and other members of your household know how to access it.

Add Extra Insulation

Normally, keeping your house warm is enough to keep your pipes warm. However, during prolonged periods with freezing temperatures, the cold air can reach your plumbing no matter how high you have the heat. Adding extra insulation to any pipes in outside walls or in poorly insulated areas like attics and basements will help prevent them from freezing. Some forms of pipe insulation you can install yourself, but consult a professional if you need assistance.

Drain & Drip

If you plan to be away from home for an extended period during winter, consider taking the time to drain your pipes completely before you leave. Getting the excess water out of your plumbing will prevent blockage from ice buildup if the water should freeze. Prioritize any pipes that lead to the outside, as they are the most vulnerable to temperature changes.

Letting your faucets drip is another way you can winterize your plumbing. As long as water is moving in the pipe, it's less likely to freeze overnight. While it might seem wasteful, letting your bathroom or kitchen sink faucet drip overnight during winter can save you a fortune by preventing leaks and burst pipes.

While these are all great tips for maintaining and protecting your plumbing in the winter, any doubts or questions should be discussed with an expert. Consider hiring a professional plumber to inspect your home for any signs of damage or weakness before winter comes and you'll be able to get a head start on whatever the colder weather has in store.

About the Author

Todd & Lisa McLain

We are Todd and Lisa McLain and we would love to serve you throughout your home buying/selling experience. Whether you're in the research phase of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having real estate professionals with over 20 years of experience in the Pikes Peak region by your side. We'd be honored to put our real estate experience to work for you!