Summer comes to an end on September 23, 2023, and with that, we welcome the season of autumn. As you know, the Chicago suburbs experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Autumn, or fall, delivers beautiful foliage, crisp air, and cooler temperatures. However, the changing weather can also challenge your plumbing system.
While freezing pipes are not as standard in the Chicago suburbs as one might find in colder climates, they can still occur during severe cold spells in both late autumn and winter. Homeowners should consider taking some preventative measures to protect their pipes from freezing and to avoid costly repairs.
Fall Plumbing Maintenance
We wanted to provide you with some autumn plumbing maintenance tips for Chicagoland homeowners:
- Insulate exposed pipes. Pipes in unheated areas, such as attics, crawl spaces, or garages, have a higher likelihood of freezing during the winter. Insulating these pipes will help to keep them warm and prevent them from freezing.
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. When temperatures drop below freezing, water in outdoor hoses can freeze and expand, causing the hoses to burst. To prevent this, disconnect all outdoor hoses from your home’s water supply and drain any remaining water from them.
- Protect outdoor faucets. Outdoor faucets also risk freezing damage. You can protect them by wrapping them in insulation or installing a frost-free faucet cover.
- Check for leaks. Leaks can waste water and lead to water damage. As the weather gets colder, check all faucets, fixtures, and pipes for leaks. Look for drips, puddles, and signs of mold or mildew.
- Flush your water heater. Over time, sediment can build up in the bottom of your water heater. This can reduce the efficiency of your water heater and lead to premature failure. Flushing your water heater once a year will help to remove sediment and keep it running smoothly.
A Few More Tips to Prep a Home in Autumn
In addition to these tips, here are some specific tips for autumn plumbing maintenance in the Chicago suburbs:
- Insulate your attic and crawl space. This will help to keep the pipes in these areas warmer.
- Install a sump pump in your basement. A sump pump will help to remove excess water from your basement during periods of heavy rain or snowmelt.
- Have your furnace inspected and serviced before the start of the heating season. A well-maintained furnace will provide adequate heat to your home, helping to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Be prepared for power outages. A power outage can cause your furnace and your sump pump to stop working, which could lead to frozen pipes or flooded basements. If you expect a power outage, have a backup plan for heating your home. We especially recommend installing a battery backup system for your sump pump.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your plumbing system in good working order throughout the autumn season. This will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.
If you need any help getting your plumbing ready for the upcoming autumn and winter months, don’t delay and contact DRC Plumbing and Sewer for a free estimate.