Winter is right around the corner and while some of us are looking forward to holidays with friends and families, homeowners have a list of concerns in mind. Preparing your home for the winter is no easy task but knowing exactly what you need to do will make it feel much more manageable. Follow this checklist to make sure your plumbing is prepared for the colder temperatures.

Insulate Pipes

Exposed pipes need to be insulated so that they don’t freeze during the cold temperatures. Water lines in the attic, garage, and crawl space are the ones most prone to freezing. You can purchase specific pipe insulation to insulate around each area.

Prepare Outdoor Faucets

Outdoor faucets need to be prepared before the temperatures drop too low. Disconnect any hoses and drain the remaining water. Make sure the valve shutoff is turned off to the outdoor faucets. If there is no shutoff valve, just turn off each faucet individually and make sure there are no leaks.

Service the Water Heater

Once a year you should hire a professional to come into the home to drain and inspect your water heater. Any signs of corrosion should be addressed before winter begins to ensure the water heater stays in good working order. Don’t attempt to drain and inspect the water heater by yourself, it’s a job meant for a professional. It’s a good idea to find a plumber you trust too, just in case these preventative measures aren’t enough!

Find the Main Valve

Look around the home to make sure you know where the main water valve is. Typically, it can be found near the water meter. If a pipe bursts this winter, you’ll need to immediately turn off the main water valve to reduce the amount of damage.

Check Your Furnace

Your furnace may not be plumbing, but it is responsible for keeping the plumbing from freezing and bursting during the winter months. Inspect the heater and make sure it’s working as efficiently as possible during the fall so you’ll be able to get through the winter.

If you want a second opinion or a little extra help as you prepare your plumbing for winter, call a professional for a consultation. Older homes are especially prone to bursting pipes and areas lacking insulation. The last thing you want is your holidays or times with friends and family to be interrupted by a plumbing emergency.