With the frost warning this morning, and the fog in the lowlands, we can sense that winter is coming. I know we do not want to think about it, but winter is right around the corner. Many people look to the Farmer’s Almanac to see how badly the snow and cold will affect us. Everyone should think about preparing their home for snow and freezing temps.
For most of us, we do not think to prepare our home for winter. There are a few simple things we can do to ensure our homes will be safe from water damage. During the winter months, ServiceMaster gets a large volume of claims due to frozen pipes. Below are some tips to avoid having ServiceMaster come to your home this winter.
Disconnect your hose and shut off your water:
Make sure before the outside temps reach 32 degrees or below you remove your hose from the outside spigot. Also if accessible shut off the water to the outside spigot. This will prevent water from freezing in the pipe over the winter months. If the pipe does freeze you will not know until spring. The water stays frozen in the pipe until temperatures reach above freezing.
Foam Insulation around Piping:
Another way to protect your pipes from freezing, wrap each pipe in foam insulation. Most hardware stores have the foam tubes designed specifically for plumbing pipes. Installation is easy and takes no time compared to the cost and time it takes to dry out your home from water damage. This is an easy and low-cost option to protect your home.
Maintain your home’s heat if you are going away:
If you are going on vacation like many of us do over the cold winter months, make sure you have someone checking on your home. Having a neighbor or a friend check on your home every couple of days can be the difference between small or large water damage. Set your thermoset for 60 degrees. Your home’s heat should be maintained while you are away. Have your furnace inspected before you leave, especially if you are leaving for an extended time. If your heat goes out during the winter months the results can be devastating. Many times people go out of town and come home to large water damage and are in need of ServiceMaster’s services.
Just a few steps of preparation in the fall can save you loads of trouble in the spring. Disconnect your hoses and shut off the water. Insulate your pipes outside, and have someone check on your home if you leave town. Maintain your heat in your dwelling over the winter. These are just a few tips to help protect your home this winter. Check back for more recommendations from the experienced team at ServiceMaster.
This is an updated blog. This was originally posted on November 1, 2013. The original version can be found here.