Though our temperatures rarely reach freezing here on the Gulf Coast of Florida and we have mild winters, there are some nights where the temperatures drop significantly which can do damage to your Tampa home’s plumbing if not prevented beforehand.
Though many homeowners don’t give much thought to winter plumbing problems, getting prepared before unexpected frost warnings can save you time and money on costly emergency plumbing repairs!
Here are six things to do NOW to ensure that your plumbing makes it through a cold snap this winter.
If you’ve noticed a dripping faucet but haven’t taken the time to get it fixed, now is the time. Check every faucet in your house, from the kitchen to the bathrooms, to ensure that there aren’t any leaks or problems. Plumbing leaks can be especially problematic in winter, as a small leak in a pipe could freeze if temperatures drop low enough, and potentially cause a split or break in the pipe. (Yes, even in Florida!)
Prevent damage to your plumbing system and check for leaks in all the exposed piping throughout your home and schedule repairs with Integrity Home Solutions as soon as possible.
Insulate Exterior Pipes
Your pipes can freeze, even in sunny Florida. To prevent possible freezing and cracking of exterior pipes, allow them to drain completely and then cover them with insulating material such as fiberglass or polyethylene insulating tubes. They are the most budget-friendly options.
For extra protection, you can add a layer of heat tape in between the insulating tube and the pipe.
Get Your Outdoor Fixtures Ready for Winter
If you leave outdoor hoses connected during the winter months, the water inside can freeze and expand, in turn, affecting your pipes and faucets. Luckily, you can purchase insulating covers for your outdoor faucets.
If it’s going to be particularly cold, we recommend disconnecting the garden hose and putting it away until spring.
Other outdoor maintenance steps include:
- Remove any splitters from faucets
- Shut the water off to outdoor faucets completely if a freeze is in the forecast
- Drain exterior faucets to release any remaining water. Leave faucet handles in the “on” position throughout winter if you turn them off at the indoor valve.
- Check for leaks and make any repairs
Don’t Set the Thermostat Too Low
If you are going away on vacation this winter, don’t set the thermostat in your home too low or shut the heater off completely. Doing so could leave your plumbing vulnerable to the cold. We like to recommend that the indoor temperature in your home should be set to no lower than 50 degrees even if you are away on vacation.
Flush Your Water Heater
We have notoriously hard water here in Tampa Bay, and mineral deposits can build up in your pipes and cause a host of problems with your water heater and the plumbing throughout your house. Have your water heater flushed before winter sets in to ensure that this sediment is unable to cause rust or other problems in your plumbing.
If your current water heater is old and malfunctioning or is already corroded and rusted, it is likely time to purchase and install a new water heater before the weather gets too cold. No one wants to take a cold shower in the dead of winter!
Don’t want to flush your water heater on your own? We can help! Call our expert plumbers at Integrity Home Solutions and we will be there right away to perform maintenance on your water heater!
Circulate Warm Air
On the coldest nights this winter, open kitchen, and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to flow inside. Ventilating these areas can help prevent pipes from freezing and causing leaks. Further, switch all ceiling fans to spin clockwise and set them on the lowest setting to help circulate warm air throughout your home. This not only will protect your plumbing but will also improve your heater’s efficiency, resulting in lower utility costs this winter.
Maintain Your Plumbing System with Integrity Home Solutions
Preventative maintenance is key to many of the systems in your home, including your plumbing! If you haven’t had your heater flushed yet this year or have some small faucet leaks that need to be repaired, call our team at Integrity Home Solutions! We will ensure that your plumbing system is in optimal condition so it can withstand those cold winter nights.
Schedule water heater maintenance, leaky faucet repairs, or general plumbing services with Integrity Home Solutions today—813-473-6007!