Winter is coming! No, we are not talking about the white walkers, but rather our unpredictable, brutal Maryland winters. To prepare our homes for the season, we have put together this quick guide to winterizing your home.
With some preparation and a plan in place, we can endure this winter season feeling better than we did after watching the finale of Game of Thrones. To prepare your home for the upcoming winter season, Warrior Plumbing and Heating has pulled together a list of our top five winter maintenance tips:
- Boilers: Boilers are like the motor of your home. They protect your family from the winter elements and keep everything within your house at a temperature that it can function properly. But like anything, boilers can fail at the most inopportune moments due to faulty parts, pumps, or electrical components. Just like your vehicle, boilers should be serviced on an annual basis to ensure they are working at optimum efficiency and properly heating your home.
- Water Heaters: As the weather turns colder, your water heater needs to work harder than usual. This is also the time of year when we Marylanders want to pump more hot water into our sinks, tubs, and showers to stay warm. With this increased activity, underlying issues can emerge. Faulty parts, sediment build up, or a bad winter storm can wreak havoc on your home’s water heater. If you have a gas water heater, it’s important to keep an eye on the pilot, thermocouple, and pilot control valve. In electric water heaters, it’s important to inspect the thermostat and heating elements. A licensed warrior plumber will be able to assess these parts for faults and ensure they are working properly. Sediment and other minerals tend to build up on the bottom of water heaters. This causes your water heater to utilize more energy and lose efficiency over time. Your home’s water heater should be flushed out regularly to avoid build up and prevent damage.
- Sump Pumps: A sump pump is only activated when it is needed and is meant to pump water out of and away from your home to avoid flooding. It is often not obvious that your sump pump isn’t working properly until it is too late. If your sump pump is exposed to any extreme temperatures, it may freeze and be able unable to operate. Preventative sump pump maintenance allows your Warrior plumber to identify any issues before they cause any costly damage to your home. Your sump pump should be inspected regularly to ensure it works properly when it’s needed most.
- Insulate Pipes: If any of your pipes are housed in non-heated areas, such as a basement or a garage, it is crucial to ensure these pipes are insulated. This protection will help keep your pipes from freezing during the winter.
- Outdoor Water Hoses, Faucets, and Interior Shut-Off: Water inside outdoor faucets can freeze and expand if they are left connected during colder temperatures. This expansion can cause connected faucets and pipes to freeze and break. To help prevent this, simply disconnect your water hoses, drain them of any remaining water, and store the hoses in a dry area. After you remove the hose, check the faucet for any leaks or drips that may need to be fixed. A leaking faucet can lead to water damage and severe plumbing issues during a freeze. Once your outdoor faucets are fully fixed, cover and insulate the faucets to avoid future issues. You may also have an interior shut-off valve in your home that is connected to outside faucets and plumbing. To avoid freezing, shut off the interior valve and open the outdoor faucet valve to ensure there is no remaining water in the line that could freeze.
Stay ahead of the winter season. We’re here to help! Simply fill out our contact us form or call us at 443-967-3736.