Protect Your Mountain Home from Water Damage during the Winter

Winterizing is ensuring water doesn’t freeze within the plumbing and irrigation systems at your property. This is because when water freezes, it expands, creating enough pressure to rupture any piping. If this happens and goes undetected, major water damage can occur when the frozen water thaws and subsequently flows into or around your home. To avoid such disasters, follow the simple steps demonstrated or outlined below.

Winterizing Basics: 

  • General
    • Turn off your stop and waste drain valve.
      • Use a T-Bar to turn it clockwise until snug, usually about a quarter turn. T-Bars can be found at local hardware stores.
      • If it turns more than that, or doesn’t feel secure, be sure to call a professional as it may be time to repair or replace it. If it’s not completely turned off or on, it may produce a leak.
      • Mark your stop and waste drain valve with a tall stake so you can find it in the snow.
      • Do not shut off your water at the meter.
        • Turning off the water at the meter is illegal, dangerous, and doesn’t drain the water from your home.
  • Outdoors
    • Shut off and drain all outdoor irrigation no later than November 1st .
      • Local regulations require outdoor irrigation winterization November 1 through April 1. 
      • Detach and drain your garden hose .
        • This prevents freezing water from backing up into the wall behind the spigot. 
        • Frozen water inside a hose can also damage the hose material. 
  • Indoors
    • Insulate exposed water pipes including those under sinks, in attics, crawl spaces, or outside your house.
    • If you can, leave your heat set for 50-55 degrees.
    • Open cabinet doors under sinks to let warmer indoor air circulate near the pipes.

For a more comprehensive guide one can follow to more thoroughly winterize, download our All Season Leak Protection Guide.

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