Winterize Your Home

Tips for winterizing your home

Tis the season for cooler temperatures. Here are a few quick and easy things that you can do now to winterize your home:

  • Insulate hot and cold pipes that are located in unheated areas in your home such as the garage, crawl space, or attic.
  • Open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms to allow pipes behind walls and under floors to get additional heat from inside your house.
  • Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets and turn them off if they have their own shutoff valve. This type of shut off valve is typically located in the basement or crawl space. If your home does have an outdoor faucet shut off valve, be sure to empty the water lines to your faucets by turning on each outdoor faucet after you've closed the shut off valve.

    If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then you'll need to insulate each spigot with a foam cap or wrap it with another insulating material such as newspaper.
  • Turn off and drain automatic sprinkler systems and backflow assembly devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.
  • Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper, or cardboard.
  • When temperatures dip below freezing, temporarily turn on your faucet located furthest from your water meter so that it has a slow and steady drip - this will keep water moving and make it less likely to freeze in your pipes.
  • Know where your emergency water shut off valve is located and how to turn it off. If a pipe bursts inside your home, this valve will turn the water off. Be sure to share this information with other members of your household. (Most shut-off valves are located in the crawl space, basement, garage, or outside the house near the foundation.)

Think you have a frozen pipe? Here’s how to tell if you do:

Turn on faucets located throughout your home; if some of them work and others do not, it is likely that you have a frozen pipe. If there is no water to your home, it is likely that the issue may be at the street and you should notify your water provider.

Thawing frozen pipes:

To thaw plumbing lines safely, use a hair dryer on a low setting. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. Remember to leave a little water on once the pipe has thawed so that it doesn’t refreeze.

Repairing broken water pipe(s):
If your burst pipe is located in or around your home, then it is your responsibility to repair the pipe. If the break is at the street, contact your water provider to repair it.