As an Iowan, preparing your home for winter is a must. This year, the Farmers’ Almanac predicts an unusually cold winter along with above average snowfall in the Midwest. During an average year, Altoona receives 32 inches of snow with temperatures dropping well below freezing. Before snow accumulates, take time to perform a few home maintenance tasks. Pay special attention to your plumbing. Pipes are extremely vulnerable to the cold. If not maintained properly, they can freeze and burst to create water damage. Use the following tips to prevent pipe damage in your home this winter.

Inside:

Insulate Pipes

Use pipe wrap or sleeves that are made of rubber or foam to insulate pipes. Heat tape is an alternative to keeping pipes warm in the winter. Make sure you research the correct way to install heat tape because there are some risks associated with it.

Let Faucets Drip

If you know the temperature is going to drop below freezing, keep your faucets dripping. The constant stream of water prevents pipes from freezing. This may be especially necessary for exposed pipes overnight.

Insulate Attic and Basement

Insulate areas of your home that aren’t heated like the attic and basement. In addition to keeping the exposed pipes in these areas warm, this will help you retain heat throughout your entire home.

Don’t Turn Your Heat Off

Whether you’re gone during the day or you turn down the heat at night, make sure you don’t turn your heat off completely. Maintain a constant temperature above freezing in your home at all times to prevent freezing pipes.

Outside:

Drain Sprinkler System

Before the freezing temperatures hit, drain your underground sprinkler system. Also, make sure to shut off the water supply to the sprinklers.

Fix Exterior Wall Damage

Any damage to your exterior walls can cause the temperature in your home to drop. Not only does this increase your heating bill, but it can also cause the pipes in these exterior walls to freeze.

Weatherproof Windows & Doors

Winterize windows and doors by sealing gaps with foam or rubber sealant. This will keep freezing air and moisture outside.

Drain Outdoor Hose

Drain your garden hose and cut off its water source at the water shut off valve. You can also use a cover to protect the spigot from extreme weather.

For Travel:

If you’ll be traveling this winter, make sure to empty your water heater, drain water from your pipes and use antifreeze to prevent freezing pipes. Next, securely seal all openings to prevent the cold weather from finding its way inside while you’re gone. Finally, keep your heat set to a temperature above freezing.

We hope these tips will keep your pipes warm and in top condition all winter long. If you experience water damage due to a burst pipe, ServiceMaster Restoration by Bailey can help. Contact us at (844) 338-5447 day or night to request emergency water damage cleanup services.