Man removing leaves from his home's gutters - preparing plumbing for cold weather.

5 Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for Cold Weather

5 Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for Cold Weather

Now that the warm season is coming to an end, preparing your home for the cooler months ahead is important. This includes making sure your plumbing is in good working order. You don’t want to experience a burst pipe or a clogged drain when the temperature starts to drop. To help you avoid any plumbing problems, we’ve put together an end-of-summer plumbing checklist. Below are some things you should do to prepare your plumbing for cold weather:

1. Insulate Your Pipes

As summer ends, it’s time to prepare for the colder weather ahead. One of the most important things you can do to winterize your home is to insulate your pipes. This will help prevent them from freezing and bursting when the temperature drops.

There are a few different ways you can insulate your pipes:

  • Wrap them in insulation sleeves or tape
  • Install pipe heating cables
  • Insulate your entire home to keep the heat in

2. Drain Your Water Heater

You may not use as much hot water in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can skimp on maintenance. Draining your water heater once a year helps to remove sediment that’s built up over time. This will help improve the efficiency of your heater and prevent rust and corrosion.

Inspecting your water heater early enough will help you catch any problems before they become too serious. This will save you money in the long run and help you avoid costly repairs or replacements.

3. Check Your Home for Leaks

Leaks can occur in pipes, appliances, and fixtures. They can also happen in the structure of your homes, such as in the roof or foundation. Even small leaks can waste a lot of water and cause damage to your home. A blockage or a burst pipe during the cold months can cause extensive damage to your property.  Signs of leaks include:

  • Water stains on walls, ceilings, or floors
  • Warped floors or walls
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Moldy odors
  • Higher than normal water bills

If you suspect you have a leak, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible. A professional plumber can help you locate and repair the leak quickly and efficiently.

4. Clean the Gutters

Branches and leaves fall off often during the autumn months, and if they’re not cleaned out of your gutters, they can cause a clog. Clogged gutters can overflow, causing water to seep into your home’s foundation or basement. In addition, clogged gutters provide the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow.

To prepare your plumbing for cold weather and avoid these problems, it’s important to clean your gutters at least once a month during the fall and winter. You can either do this yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

5. Clean the Drains

As summer ends, it’s important to clean the drains in your home. The drains in your kitchen and bathroom sink, as well as your shower, can become clogged with hair, soap scum, and other debris. If these drains are not cleaned regularly, they can cause water to back up into your home.

Water back-up in your home during fall or winter can cause flooding and other health hazards. To clean your drains, you can use a plunger, a drain snake, or a chemical drain cleaner. You can also prevent clogs by using a drain cover or hair catcher. 

If you have never cleaned your drains before, it is best to hire a professional to do it for you.  A professional drain cleaning service will clean your drains properly and safely.

Talk to a Plumber

There’s no better time to schedule a plumbing inspection than before the cold weather hits. Taking care of any plumbing needs before cold weather hits will save hassle, time, and money in the long run.  

Plumbing issues that are left unchecked can lead to much bigger problems down the road. If you need help preparing your plumbing for cold weather, contact the experts at Pro Service Mechanical to schedule an inspection!