Fall/Winter Maintenance Tips
Since this summer hasn’t been very hot; it’s time to start preparing for the winter. There are several things you can do yourself to prepare your house; but with some things (like your water heater) it is both easier and safer to have a professional take care it.
Have Sprinklers Blown Out
Everyone knows this should to be done, yet every year people procrastinate long enough to ruin pipes and sprinkler heads. Get it done early; your yard will be fine. Do It Yourself Cost: Free if you have an air compressor or you can rent one from the Home Depot.
Poor insulation in the attic causes snow on the roof to melt, and clogged gutters cause the water to overflow. When that water freezes, it expands and can tear apart your leaves, roof, and take sections of gutters right off the house. Here is a little trick. Get on the roof with your leaf blower; or you can attach a piece of PVC pipe to your leaf blower hose. Carefully aim your blower into the gutters and the leaves will go flying. It makes gutter cleaning a lot easier. This works best when the leaves are dry. DIY Cost: Free
Unhook hoses and either blow them out or drain them with gravity and store inside for the winter. An outside shed is nice, but the plastic and rubber will still freeze and thaw numerous times and most likely crack. A garage that doesn’t get below freezing should be fine. DIY Cost: Free
Insulate Exposed Plumbing Pipes
Take a walk through your basement, and insulate the pipes you can see. Especially the ones near the outside walls. They are the most susceptible to freezing. If you have a problem with certain pipes freezing frequently, you may want to use heat tape (has a wire inside and is plugged in to an outlet) to warm that pipe throughout the winter. DIY Cost: depends on the number of pipes and the type of insulation you want to use. If you need to use heat tape, it is better to have a plumber install that; but if you can use split pipe insulation, you can DIY.
Service Water Heater
The fall is a great time to get your water heater maintained. This should be done once a year. The plumber will drain out some of the water to check for rust, he will check the water pressure, check for any leaks, make sure the temperature is at a safe setting, etc. DIY Cost: this one is tougher to do yourself and it is better to have a professional handle. Give us a call 856-939-4299 or better yet, schedule through our website www.thebigredr.com and get $25 off.
Insulate Open Spaces Where Air Can Blow on Pipes
Insulating the open spaces reduces drafts and saves you money on your heating and cooling bills. The less air that is moving across the pipes, the less of a chance that one of those pipes will freeze. DIY Cost: Depends on the size you need to insulate. You can put in insulation yourself, or if it is a large space you need insulating, give us a call and we can have our home comfort advisor come out and take a look.
Learn Where the Main Water Valve is Located
Teach your kids how to shut off the water main and under toilets and sinks. Everyone that is old enough to be in the house alone should know how to turn off the water. Even a ½” blow pipe can gush upwards of 10 gallons per minute if you have high pressure in your house. Having your 10 year-old take care of this 15 minutes before he/she can get a neighbor to help can save you thousands of dollars. DIY Cost: Free, and could save you thousands in an emergency. During your Plumbing Inspection our Plumber can show you where your shut-off valves are located in your home; if you aren’t sure, just ask him.
Change your filters and get your furnace tuned by a pro. You will save energy and reduce the allergens in your air. Included with your Service Plan with Runnemede PHCE. If you don’t have a service plan, a maintenance inspection for your furnace is $99.95. (keep an eye out for coupons on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thebigredr)