With the colder temperatures arriving it means that homeowners must prepare their homes for a new season. Each season requires some basic home maintenance to prepare and protect your home from whatever weather and elements it might encounter. Even Arizona experiences cold temperatures in the winter and it is important that you prepare your plumbing beforehand to prevent significant damage that can be incredibly costly.
The first thing you should do is prepare your outside faucets. Your outside faucets are the most exposed to shifts in weather so they need the most attention. It is important to insulate any exposed pipes. Insulation can be accomplished in a few different ways. Many stores sell pipe insulation kits but you can also use pool noodles and/or towels. The insulation will help protect pipes from freezing and improves energy efficiency through more efficient hot water usage.
Next, you need to fix any plumbing leaks before the temperatures dip too much. Not only are leaks wasteful and an inefficient use of water which is costly but they can also lead to damage. If there is a leak and temperatures dip below freezing the frozen ice could build up in pipes. Before temperatures get too low walk around your home and check for leaks in common places like around tubs, showers, sinks, toilets, and your water heater.
In addition to protecting pipes and checking for leaks, you should check and clean your gutters seasonally to prevent dirt and debris from building up and causing damage. When there is buildup in your gutters it can lead to a water backup that leads towards your house, causing damage. Additionally, disconnect any water hoses outside your home to prevent water in the hose from freezing and backing up into the pipe. If you decide to travel or just like to live in a really cold home, never turn allow your home to dip below 55 degrees because it could lead to a pipe freezing and bursting. And, if a pipe bursts it will be far more expensive than the little bit of money you saved from reducing your heating costs. Finally, you should seasonally check your water heater and drain it. Preventive maintenance on your water heater can extend the life of your water heater and improve energy efficiency. The hard water in Arizona tends to lead to significant buildup in your water heater so call your plumber to have your water heater drained and to help you prepare your home’s plumbing for the cold winter months.