In Illinois, we are used to cold weather and freezing temperatures. Most homeowners know how important it is to “winterize” our homes, but many of us don’t think about preparing the outside for winter.
Forgetting to prepare the outdoors can lead to problems, like frozen pipes and flooding during the winter months – something no homeowner wants to deal with. Take these steps to prepare your outside for winter to keep spigots and pipes from freezing and bursting!
Prepare Your Outside for Winter
- Disconnect garden hoses. Before doing anything else, disconnect all garden hoses from faucets. Empty the hoses of all water and store hoses in a garage or shed. You will then shut off the water supply to the outdoor faucets. Drain all water from the spigot until it is empty. Even if there is water left in the pipe, it will be a small enough amount that it will not cause damage to the pipe.
- Cover outdoor pipes with insulation. In Illinois, we deal with sub zero temperatures on a regular basis. Protecting outdoor pipes from these temperatures is important to keeping your home free from burst pipes and flooding. Cover the faucet and pipes with insulation. You can use something as common as newspapers or cloth, covered in plastic and sealed with duct tape. For a more expensive option, you can use foam insulation or fiberglass, but the main point is to keep spigots from freezing and pipes from bursting.
Thaw Out Frozen Spigots
If you discover that your spigots and pipes have frozen, don’t worry – there are ways of dealing with it. The most important thing is DO NOT try to thaw out pipes by using an open flame. This can cause damage to your home or serious injury to anyone involved.
Instead, follow these steps.
- Open the faucet so water can flow freely. Since things are frozen at the moment, don’t expect water to appear when you first turn on the faucet.
- Wrap towels around the spigot and begin to pour boiling water onto the towels. You will want to saturate the cloth, and check frequently to see if water has started to run from the faucet.
- Keep the spigot open and pouring boiling water until water flows freely. The moving water will eventually help the pipe thaw fully, and you’ll be back in business.
Dealing with Flooding and Water Damage
Frozen pipes and spigots are still a very real problem for Chicago area homes. If you experience water damage due to flooding, McMahon Services is here. Call us – our goal is to make you feel like the water damage never happened. We have been working with water damage restoration and clean up for over 20 years and know the ins and outs of clean up.
Call us if you experience winter flooding and water damage – we will take care of the process from start to finish and return your home to normal as quickly as possible.