Home Winterization

Winterization is the process of preparing your home for the winter months, and American Mechanical, Inc. is here to help.

Water damage can be caused by pipes bursting during cold weather and can be devastating for homeowners. Water leakage can cause thousands of dollars in damage due to mold formation and property damage.

All exposed water pipes in cold areas (such as the garage, crawl space and attics) should be insulated with foam or fiberglass insulation and covered entirely to prevent freezing. The water supply should be shut off from the inside and drained completely. Winterization is especially important for houses which are vacant much of the time – summer homes, vacated rentals and foreclosed properties.

This is especially true for vacant homes where the homeowner lives out of the area (summer homes, vacated rental properties, and foreclosed properties). If one of those pipes ruptures, water will continue to spew from it until someone arrives to turn off the water supply.

It is impossible to monitor the temperature of the entire plumbing system, but it is possible to regulate it somewhat. Keep the indoor temperature high throughout the winter to prevent the pipes from freezing, even in unheated areas. Sprinkler systems are particularly vulnerable to cracking due to cold water expansion.

Owners of vacant houses may not be utilizing the heating system in order to save money. In such instances, the house must be winterized to prevent catastrophic building damage. Attic insulation prevents heat loss of warm indoor air from escaping and should be 12” thick in colder climates.

Commodes should be emptied completely and antifreeze added to all plumbing fixtures. Faucets and outside hose bibs should be drained and left open to prevent freezing. Water tanks and pumps should be drained completely.

In summary, home winterization is a collection of preventive measures taken by the homeowner to protect the home against expensive damage caused by cold temperatures. These measures should be performed in the fall before it gets cold enough for the damage to occur. Indoor plumbing is probably the most crucial area to consider when preparing your home for winter, although it is also important to unplug all non-essential electrical appliances (especially the refrigerator).

If no electrical appliances are needed, electricity can be shut off at the main breaker. Take these measures to ensure minimal damage to your property when you arrive in the future. You’ll be glad you did!



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