Winterizing your cabin plumbing is a necessity if you plan to be away from home. It can prevent pipes from freezing, which can lead to expensive repairs and a huge mess.
Pipes in crawl spaces and attics are most susceptible to cold weather damage. Insulation and heat cables are the dream team for protecting them from freezing.
Shut Off the Water
The first thing to do when winterizing your pipes is to shut off the water supply. This helps prevent the sudden build-up of pressure inside your home, which can cause a burst pipe.
This step is a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with where your water valves are and how to shut them off. This will come in handy in the event of an emergency and could save you a lot of stress (and money) in the future.
Indoor water supply valves are typically located near where the pipe enters your house from the street, usually in utility areas like basements or garages or on exterior walls in warmer climates. In addition, the faucets you use are usually connected to isolation valves that can be turned off individually to help make the process of winterizing your plumbing system more manageable. These valves can be accessed by shutting off the main water valve or by turning off the water at each fixture, such as a toilet, sink, or shower.
Drain and Insulate
If your home has pipes exposed along exterior walls or in unheated spaces, they need proper insulation to protect them from freezing. It’s also a good idea to insulate any exposed plumbing in attics, crawl spaces, garages and basements.
Insulation is a relatively inexpensive way to prevent costly water damage and avoid expensive repairs. It’s especially important to insulate any pipes located outside the house, since they are most susceptible to freezing conditions.
A frozen pipe can cause a significant amount of damage to your home, and even if the water in a pipe isn’t turned on, it will still freeze, expanding and potentially damaging the pipe and the surrounding areas. Many families have gone away for winter vacations and returned to a flooded home that requires months of cleanup and restoration work. Taking steps to prepare a vacant house for winter weather can help you avoid this costly problem. The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a chilly winter with the potential for freezing temperatures, so it’s important to start planning now.
Add Heat Tape
Pipes located outside walls, in crawl spaces and attics, or in unheated garages need an extra layer of protection to prevent freezing. Insulation alone won’t do the trick; it needs to be paired with heat cables to provide a comprehensive solution.
Water pipes that freeze and burst can discharge hundreds of gallons of water in short order, creating massive flooding and property damage. Preventing frozen pipes by following these quick winterizing tips can save homeowners a lot of headaches and money down the road.
Vacation homes and houses that are vacant for long periods of time are especially prone to plumbing issues in the winter. The last thing any homeowner wants to discover upon returning to their cabin is a flooded home with burst pipes. Learn how to winterize your cottage plumbing today to avoid expensive repairs and a mess in the spring.
Cold winter weather can cause a lot of damage in your home, from losing roof shingles to bursting pipes. The latter can expel gallons of water that require costly repairs.
If your plumbing runs through exterior walls or in uninsulated spaces, add an extra layer of protection with foam insulation. Also, if you live in a pier and beam cabin with a ventilated crawl space, consider covering it with a heavy piece of cardboard cut to size, then duct tape in place. This will keep cold air from reaching water pipes in the crawl space.
Another option is to install a Wi-Fi thermostat with an alert system. It will send you an email or text message if the house’s temperature drops, so you can take steps to protect your pipes from freezing. You can also invest in heat cables, which have an integral thermostat that turns on and off automatically. They are a great choice for hard-to-reach or exposed pipes in the attic, garage, or crawl space.