Prepping Your Home for Winter

House covered in snow

With most of the northeast experiencing its first major snowstorm of the season this past week, millions of homeowners are realizing just how important it is to properly prepare your home for colder weather.

While we understand that you want to spend beautiful fall days out at pumpkin patches and apple orchards, getting important tasks done before winter rolls through will give you peace of mind when temperatures start to drop.

Your Home’s Cold Weather Checklist

While fall may be the ideal time to prepare your home for dropping temperatures and snow, it’s never too late to protect your most important investment.

Have your boiler inspected.

There’s nothing worse than waking up one morning and being able to see your breath because your boiler gave out overnight. From keeping your home warm to supplying hot water, your boiler has one of the most important jobs in the house. If it does stop working, not only will you be left in the cold, but the chances of your pipes freezing drastically increases.

Prevent your pipes from freezing.

Frozen pipes cause some of the biggest plumbing problems we see in the winter. Frozen water puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your pipes (regardless of what they’re made of) and causes them to expand. If the pipe expands too much it can crack or completely explode, leaving you with a massive leak or even flood to deal with.

Recognize the signs of frozen pipes.

If, despite your best efforts, your pipes do freeze this winter, it’s important to note the signs.

If you notice any of the below in your home, it’s important to contact a licensed plumber immediately:

  • Little to no running water.
  • Frost on exposed pipes.
  • A strange odor caused by drains starting to backup.

Make any repairs to your water heater.

Even in the summer, people rarely want to take a cold shower. But in the winter they’re downright dreadful. If your water pressure has been off, your taps take a while to warm up, or your shower water doesn’t get as hot as it used to, your water heater may be experiencing a problem or be on its way to complete failure.

Know how to care for your garbage disposal.

With the holidays just around the corner and guests spending more time than ever in your kitchen, it’s important to ensure nothing goes down your disposal that shouldn't — even though it’s a “garbage” disposal, your drain is anything but a trash can.

Things like egg shells, coffee grounds, stringy vegetables, meat bones, and oils should never be put down your disposal because they increase the chances of a broken blade and clogged drain.

Fix any small leaks ASAP.

With so much on your plate, we get that fixing a tiny leak probably isn’t your number one priority. But a small leak could be a sign of a much bigger problem.

Leaks are also one of the main causes of household wasted water. Even if your sink only drips a few times per minute, you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water each year — water you’re also paying for.

No one wants to add “call the plumber” to their long list of to-do’s around the holidays. So while it may be tempting to avoid calling a plumber until something goes wrong, a little proactive planning can make your winter that much more enjoyable.

For 30 years, VP’s Plumbing, Heating & Air has been going above and beyond to provide homeowners quality plumbing services in Westchester County and surrounding areas.

To request an appointment with our skilled Westchester County plumbers, call (914) 506-5752.