With winter approaching, now is a good time to make sure the plumbing system in your Harvey, LA home is properly maintained. There are a host of new plumbing challenges that come with the cold weather, so you need to make sure your plumbing system is equipped to handle them. In addition to that, you need to make sure your water heater is in good shape since you use it more during the winter. If you’re considering hiring a plumbing service to help you prepare your plumbing for winter—and you should be—here’s what you can expect them to do.
Turn Off Outside Valves
One of the biggest things you have to worry about during the winter is pipes freezing, and a simple way to prevent that is to turn off outside valves before it gets too cold.
When a pipe freezes in your home, it can rupture and cost you thousands in repairs. Fortunately, you can prevent things like hose bibs from freezing simply by turning them off and making sure they don’t have any excess water in them during the winter.
A reputable plumbing service can send somebody out to inspect your home and make sure all outside valves are turned off and dry. This is a fairly simple step that can save you tons of money in the future, so it’s at least worth doing this every year.
Protect Vulnerable Pipes
While outside valves being left on are the most common cause of frozen pipes, there are other ways it can happen, too. You need to make sure any pipes that could be exposed to cold weather are properly insulated when winter rolls around.
The easiest way to figure out which pipes need to be insulated is to have a plumbing service look for pipes in uninsulated areas of your home. These are generally the pipes that are running along the exterior walls of your home rather than the pipes that run through interior walls.
While insulation is generally enough to get the job done, some homeowners might opt for heat tape or heating cable. Both of these are designed to simply wrap around vulnerable pipes and plug into an outlet; a small bit of heat runs through the entire cable or tape and prevents your pipes from freezing. However, you should have ask the plumbing service you choose about whether or not heat tape is right for you before installing it.
Inspect Your Water Heater
When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing worse than not having enough hot water in your home. This is why you should have a plumbing service look at your water heater to make sure it’s in good shape before winter arrives.
If you’ve noticed a problem with your water heater recently, make sure you let your plumber know about it. If they find a problem during the inspection, there are two potential solutions. Sometimes a water heater simply needs a new part to work like a charm again; in this case, the heater can be repaired and you can continue life as usual. However, more often than not, a plumbing service will replace a water heater when it has problems. Water heaters have a certain lifespan that they’re not expected to exceed, so it’s a good idea to invest in a new one anyway if your water heater was installed more than 15 years ago.
Prepare Outside Drainage
In addition to the snow and cold weather, there’s a lot more rain during the winter in Harvey, LA. This rain needs somewhere to go, which is why you have outdoor drainage such as gutters. Before you get hit with heavy rain, make sure your gutters are clear and ready to keep the water draining from your roof. This is one piece of maintenance you can easily do yourself if you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty.
You can also have somebody winterize your lawn if you want to go the extra mile. This isn’t something a plumbing service would do and it’s not entirely necessary for everybody, but it’s something you might want to consider if your lawn seems to have trouble draining water. The key step in winterizing a lawn is fertilizing the entire lawn during the fall. Not only does this promote better drainage, it makes your lawn come back stronger in the spring.
Insulate Where It’s Needed
If you really want to make sure your home is prepared for winter, you can have a plumbing service inspect your pipes and add insulation where it’s needed most. Keeping pipes from freezing is a crucial part of winter plumbing maintenance, and insulating them is the simplest way to do that.
It can be hard to determine where you need insulation and where you don’t, so calling a plumber to help is your best route. A professional plumber not only has the skills and tools to find out which pipes in your home need insulation the most, they also know the right type of insulation to use.
Keep in mind that depending on the age of your home and its condition, you may not need insulation added anywhere. However, plumbing in older homes isn’t as likely to have insulation, so you should have a plumber take a look at it in any case.
Make It Easy
Home maintenance is both necessary and a pain in the neck, but you don’t have to do everything on your own. In fact, the best way to make sure you don’t have any major problems in your Harvey, LA home is to have professionals do all the big work. This is especially true when it comes to plumbing.
Hiring a reputable plumbing service for winter maintenance is important, and bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of New Orleans is the perfect solution. If you’re looking to prepare your plumbing for the harsh winter weather, give us a call at (504) 291-6121 today.