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Winter's Knocking On Your Door, Be Ready

socks by fireside

Winter can be a hard season for a home’s plumbing system and there are things that should be done to safeguard it from freezing, bursting or otherwise being damaged–yes, even in sunny Florida. Here are five top tips for winterizing your home’s plumbing system:

#1 Be sure to insulate your pipes

Pipes are susceptible to freezing if the temperature goes down under 20 degrees, so if you live somewhere the temperatures get down that low, it’s vital to insulate your pipes. All pipes in unheated areas need to be insulated. They should be wrapped up with special insulation tubes made from fiberglass or polyethylene, as well as applying heat tape onto the pipes first.

#2 Let faucets drip in freezing weather

If temperatures are going to get below freezing, then any faucets along an exterior wall should be allowed to drip. This gets rid of any pressure that could build up in-between the faucet and any ice that may have built up in the pipes.

#3 Open up all Exterior Sink Cabinets

Keep all cabinets below sinks that are against exterior walls open so more heat can get to your pipes.

#4 Fix All Exterior Cracks in Walls

Look along the exterior walls for cracks, holes or any other damage, as well as looking in the foundation of your house. One way to fix these is to fill up all the existing holes, cracks and other damaged areas with spray foam insulation, as well as using caulking to seal them. This keeps the cold air from getting to the water pipes and causing them to freeze and break.

#5 Seal up all crawl spaces, look for window cracks, bad insulation

If you have any crawl spaces in your home, they should all be sealed up to prevent the cold weather from getting in and causing damage to your pipes. It also doubles as protection from pests seeking refuge in cold fronts. You can cover up the vents with strong, heavy sections of cardboard that has been cut to the same size of the vents, and then use duct tape to hold the pieces onto the vents. Then, be sure to totally seal off any access.

In basements, you need to look out for cracks in the windows that could also let cold air into the plumbing system in your home. You should also make sure there is no damaged or missing pieces of insulation around your garage and/or utility doors. Any place you can keep the cold air out of via insulation could cause your pipes to freeze, so be diligent.

Winter is nearly here! To get the best advice on winterizing your Lakeland, FL home, call Samco Plumbing at (863) 509-1718 today.