Winter is coming
If you are lucky enough, you may be planning to leave home for somewhere warm for the winter. Or, you may be planning to stay home and keep warm with hot coco by a hot fire. Either way, its time to start preparing your home for the cold months ahead.
Drain your hose bib
If you don’t have a frost free hose bib, you should turn off the water to the hose bib then drain remaining water in the line by opening the tap. If you don’t, the cold weather can cause the water in the pipe to freeze and crack the pipe.
Remove and put away your garden hose
Even if you have a frost free hose bib, a connected hose can prevent the hose bib from properly draining and can cause the water inside to freeze. If this occurs, the bib may burst and cause significant damage to your home.
Keep your heat on when you leave for vacation
If your home will be vacant during the winter, be sure to keep the heat turned on. If your heat is turned off, temperatures inside your home may fall below freezing and the pipes in the walls, floors, or ceiling may burst. You may further mitigate such damages by turning off the water to your home.
Arrange for a neighbor to shovel your driveway when you go on vacation
An easy way for a bugler to know that you are not home is if the snow is not shoveled from your driveway or walkway, even days after a snow fall. It is a good idea to ask a neighbor or arrange for a contractor to shovel your walkway if you are going to be away for any extended period of time.
Mitigate sewer gas while you are on vacation
Don’t forget that water will still evaporate in the winter from p-traps in the sink, tub, and shower drains. The water trapped in the sideways “p” shape of the pipe prevents sewer gas from entering your home. So, make sure that someone occasionally runs the water from all your taps and flushes all the toilets if you will be away for a long time. If you know that someone will not be able to run the water for you, try putting a little vegetable oil down the drain. The oil will create a barrier that will slow the speed of evaporation from the drain.