Fall To-Do’s: What to Do to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

# 1 Remove Garden Hoses from Faucets

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets.  This prevents water back-up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls that can be caused by leaving hoses attached.  Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage.  Have exterior connections inspected by a professional if have concerns about damage or leaks.

#2 Drain Your Sprinkler System

Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads. 

#3 De-Gunk Your Gutters

Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk.

#4 Direct Your Drainage

Take a close look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house at least 6 vertical inches over 10 feet. That way, you’ll keep water from soaking the soils around your foundation, which could lead to cracks and leaks.

#5 Seal Air Leaks

Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive — and most important — of your fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy.

#6 Eyeball Your Roof

If you have a steep roof or a multistory house, stay safe and use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground.

Look for warning signs: Shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; rust spots on flashing. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately.

#9 Prune Plants

Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your home’s exterior during high winds.

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