Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Big Freeze - 5 things to think about before winter


As much as you may not want to admit it winter is just around the corner, at least here in Colorado.  For some of you winter may have already arrived but it shouldn't be too late to take care of these items before we have freezing temperatures for many days in a row.

All of these items are well within the skill level of most homeowners, although winterizing your irrigation system may be better left to a professional if you are not familiar with your system or have any concerns.

1. Be sure your sprinkler and irrigation systems have been winterized.  It’s not difficult to shut down your system for the winter by yourself but if you want to include some added protection from preventing damage due to freezing you may want to hire a professional to inspect it, shut it down and blow all of the water out of the system. Click on the picture to the right for a graphic description of the steps required to shut down a typical sprinkler system.

    2. Disconnect all hoses from exterior faucets, also know as hose bibs.  Even hose bibs that are designated as frost free can still freeze and burst if a hose is left connected to the faucet and the water was not drained out of the hose. You may want to even consider installing insulation and/or protection, too. 

    3. Shut down and winterize any evaporative (swamp) coolers.  If you would like a step by step tutorial on shutting down your swamp cooler for the winter contact me and I’ll send you a document with the information.  In addition to covering the unit it is also a good idea to cover and insulate the vent in your home to assure you aren’t sending expensive warm air directly to the outside.

    4. Do a quick check of all of your water supply lines.  Any water supply lines that are in unconditioned space (no heat) such as garages, crawl spaces and unfinished basements, you might want to consider insulating those pipes to assure they don’t freeze and burst this winter.

    5. Check all gutters and downspouts to be sure water will be directed away from walkways and driveways to reduce the chance for icy patches that can cause falls and injuries.