We have had an overwhelming number of calls within the past couple of weeks as the seasons change here at MacFawn Fire and Flood Restoration and one of the most salient issues that have come into the forefront of thinking is winterization. There are a number of ways one can save on energy and heat expenses throughout the winter, but more importantly the average cost of a cracked pipe that leads to flooding is $9,000.00 USD; an expense that if you generally steer clear of claims with your homeowner's insurance at the risk of a rate increase, is not one to reckon with.
We recommend winterizing in phases. Start with the basics. Seal your windows to reduce airflow from outside one by one. Once they are sealed, if you still feel a draft, look into window quilts that will act as a secondary barrier to the seal. Window quilts are an investment, but a good one!
After your windows have been properly sealed, do a walkthrough and seal any other areas that are allowing air from the outside into your structure. Check the foundation for any cracks or holes and around the windows and trim for any areas that may need to be re-caulked.
Start Phase II when you have cleared your home or business for any residual areas of airflow from the outside. The next most important task one can engage in is to insulate your pipes an plumbing. If you don't know which portions of plumbing are those which process water flow, there are great tutorials online that show you what's what in the wonderful world of plumbing. A good rule of thumb is to select the smaller pipes first. These generally are waterlines and they are usually in the walls. If they however are exposed and not protected with some kind of insulation within the wall(s), it is absolutely a good idea to insulate. There are a number of different types of plumbing insulation that will wrap around the cylindrical piping easily and protect the pipe from any residual airflow. In areas of your home or business that are not heated or are 'under-heated,' there is a much greater risk of water inside freezing, expanding and hence cracking the pipe (which will ultimately lead to flooding of the areas in close proximity.