How well do you prepare your home for the winter? With fall just around the corner, winter might seem far away and not worth thinking about yet. However, you may not realize that in order to adequately winterize your home’s plumbing and prevent any problems from occurring in the winter, the best time to get started is in the fall.
Otherwise, if left alone, things that are rather easily fixable now could lead to costly and time-consuming problems in the winter. For those that are unsure of what you ought to be doing every fall in preparation for the winter months, here are some fall plumbing tips you should know about.
Clean Your Gutters
In the fall your gutters can easily become clogged with dead leaves and animal debris that will give you a headache in the winter if left unaddressed. Once the temperature begins to drop, the blockage can result in water building that will freeze, forming a mini ice dam in your gutters that will block water drainage.
In addition to preventing water from properly draining, the overflow in the gutters can lead to icicles forming around your roof and gutters, which can be quite dangerous. While you can certainly break them as they form, the best way to prevent them and any other plumbing issues before they become a problem is to routinely keep your gutters clear before the temperature drops.
Inspect The Sump Pump
Your sump pump is a vital element in your home’s plumbing that pumps water away to prevent flooding and water damage. With fall being a wet season in many places, with flooding and hurricanes being a common occurrence, many homeowners spend hundreds of dollars fixing water damage that might be avoidable if the sump pump was functioning correctly.
You can check that it is working properly by pouring a bucket of water down the sump pit, which you can often find in the basement or the lowest point of your home, and it should signal to pump the water out if it is in good condition. If not, you may need to start cleaning the pump and sump pit as well as check the power connection to it to ensure every part of the system is functioning correctly.
Insulate Your Pipes
Another step you can take to prepare for the winter is to make sure your piping is insulated. Many homes have areas that are not heated, such as garages, which leaves them vulnerable to freezing in the winter. A frozen pipe can be a major headache to deal with, as fixing piping is often more difficult in the winter, so it is important to take preventative measures beforehand. You can do this with heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables that can keep your plumbing warm and prevent them from freezing and bursting, which can be very expensive to repair.
Make Sure The Hot Water Is Flowing
The water heater is going to see more use as the cold months set in, so it will be in your best interest to make sure it is working properly and can handle a heavy load. Most water heaters last between eight and twelve years when maintained properly, but their performance can degrade if there is an accumulation of gunk and any other debris. You can look through the manufacturer’s manual to clean it yourself or consider hiring a professional to do it for you.
Having professionals take care of your plumbing will lead to better results that will guarantee your plumbing is working properly. If you are looking for a team of professionals to maintain your home’s plumbing, consider Flamingo Plumbing & Backflow. To learn more about our services, contact our amazing team today!