Fall is almost here, and along with it come a few essential tasks important for area homeowners. With temperatures steadily cooling in anticipation of the yearly winter drop New York residents have come to expect, now is an ideal time to prepare your plumbing system for cold weather. Doing so can help you avoid many of the essential plumbing problems that tend to arise when the weather dips below freezing.
Your Fall Checklist
To help you get ready for the cold weather ahead, the experts at D. Rohde Heating & Plumbing have prepared this essential checklist.
- Clean your gutters. Trust us, this isn’t a task you want to undertake when the weather is below freezing. Cleaning your gutters now – and periodically through the peak of fall leaf-shedding season – ensures water from snow runoff, melting ice, and even late fall rainstorms can exit your roof safely.
- Insulate your pipes. Adding proper insulation to pipes in your unheated areas – including basements, garages, attics, and crawl spaces – is a relatively easy task that can save you from the stress of frozen pipes and the repair bills that accompany burst pipes. Most people choose to use heat tape or prefab, slip-on pipe insulation.
- Flush your water heater. During cooler weather, your water heater will have to work harder – prep it for success by flushing to remove the sediment that can decrease efficiency and shorten its lifespan. Connect a hose to your water heater’s faucet and allow several gallons to drain into a nearby floor drain.
- Flush sprinklers. Underground sprinkler systems are particularly susceptible to freezing and cracking in the winter, then producing flooding when the sprinklers are turned on again in the spring. You’ll likely need to hire a local sprinkler contractor to arrive on-site and remove water from the system. Then, ensure the system is turned off well ahead of cold weather.
- Check outdoor faucets. Seasonal fall weather is ideal for checking your outdoor faucets before the first freeze hits. Check the faucets for leaks or drips and address before the weather cools. Similarly, inspect the surrounding pipes for cracks or signs of leakage
- Disconnect hoses. The last task before the first big freeze is an important one – disconnect all hoses and allow excess water to drain from your exterior faucets. When left connected, standing water in your hoses can freeze and can cause the faucet and adjacent connecting pipes in your home to freeze as well.
While following this fall checklist can help you avoid cool weather plumbing problems, your system has the potential to experience issues at any time of the year. For help, contact D. Rohde Plumbing, Heating & AC with all your plumbing needs.