Here are three places around the house you should prep for a long, cold winter.
As a tough New Yorker, the cold winters don't phase you anymore. But unfortunately, your plumbing isn't as tough as you are and you probably haven’t thought to winterize your plumbing. It's fairly common for problems to arise as the temperatures drop and the winter season sets in over the Brooklyn neighborhood. One of the most common problems involves your pipes freezing.
How would you know if your pipes are frozen? If you can't get water out of one of the faucets around your house or the toilet isn't running, it's more likely than not that you have a frozen water supply pipe somewhere in your plumbing system.
"Your plumbing isn't as tough as you are."
When your pipes freeze, you can have problems getting water out of faucets all over your home. This can cause you and your family plenty of headaches, especially when freezing pipes keep you from having running water in your kitchen to wash the dishes or in your bathroom to take a shower. And in addition to the major inconveniences, freezing pipes can lead to other, more expensive plumbing problems. It's fairly common for frozen pipes to burst in the winter, which will involve a costly repair to the pipes as well as a thorough cleanup of any water damage from the burst pipe, which often won’t reveal itself until the frozen pipe thaws and water begins gushing out of it. With all of the friends and family that you are planning on hosting this holiday season, a major plumbing problem is the last thing you need.
Instead of waiting for your pipes to freeze, take initiative to protect your plumbing from the dropping temperatures. Here are three places around your house to protect your plumbing from the cold weather around the holiday season:
Odds are that the kitchen will get more use than normal this holiday season. Between all of the cooking and hosting around the holidays, other problems, like clogged drains, are even more common than usual. Try to take extra steps to prevent these issues from happening. Be sure you don't pour any grease or oil down the drains when cooking for everyone. All of the food and debris that you're dumping down the drain is more likely to cause a backup, so try to be mindful about what you pour down the drain. Also, if you have an older kitchen with exposed water pipes beneath the sink, be sure to add a layer of insulation around them to prevent freezing. Foam rubber pipe sleeves work very well. Additionally, on days when the temperature outside falls into the twenties or below, open the cabinet doors under the sink to allow warm air to circulate around the incoming water pipes.
If your bathroom's pipes freeze, you could experience problems when you try to bathe. To prevent this, leave the bath water faucet trickling throughout the day. The small flow of water through your bathroom's pipes will ensure that freezing doesn't occur. It's also a good idea to space out your shower times to help protect your plumbing. Instead of taking back-to-back showers, allow the water heater at least ten minutes to recover between baths and showers. Make sure you run water from the sinks in the bathrooms as well if they are located on outside walls.
Maintaining your outdoor water fixtures throughout the winter is fairly easy. In fact, most major problems can be avoided by simply removing hoses from outside faucets. If the outside faucets have indoor shutoff valves, turn those off then open the outside faucet to drain residual water from the line. Then close it and cover the faucet with a Styrofoam insulation kit. Remove all of the dirt and residue from your hoses, fountains and sprinklers. When you're ready to put them away, choose a place that will stay dry throughout the winter, like a garage or even a basement.
We use your ZIP code to give you local services and offers.