As many homeowners know, winter weather can wreak havoc on your home if you have not prepared for its harsh weather conditions. Pipes can burst, ice damming can occur, and many other occurrences may happen due to the cold weather conditions. It is always a good idea to put together a checklist to ensure that you and your home are prepared for the winter.
Fix Leaks: the smallest of leaks can turn into a huge hassle in the wintertime if they are not taken care of properly and in a timely manner. Make sure that you check all of your pipes for cracks and leaks, and fix them before winter comes along. This will save you time and money in the long run! If your pipes are insulated, feel around and check for moisture. If the insulation is wet than you more than likely are dealing with a leak.
Use an evaporative cooler: This may also be known as a swamp cooler, and it is definitely another source of water that needs to be drained before the cold weather hits. To winterize your evaporative cooler, make sure to turn off its water source and drain any pipes that lead to it. This would be a great time to clean the interior and clean the pads as well. After you have done that, put a tarp or cover over it so that no moisture enters.
Insulate your pipes: Insulating your pipes is one of the most important steps to avoid water damage to your property during the winter months. This will prevent your pipes from cracking, freezing, and then bursting. This is inexpensive and very easy to install, and this will save you money on heating costs as well as protecting your pipes.
Make sure your pump house is insulated: Planning and protection are the two most important things to do when dealing with cold weather. If your water comes from a well, than insulating your pump house is a very good idea. It is very inexpensive to do this, and will keep your pipes in the pump house from freezing during the winter. A heat source is also needed to keep the pump house at a temperature above freezing.
Make sure your sprinkler system is drained: Water can buildup and freeze in your sprinkler system, so it is a very good idea to drain it come wintertime. To do this, you will need to turn off the water source and then turn on any valves to flush out any excess water.
Protect any outside hose bibs: It is of utmost importance that you winterize your hose bibs. First, you will need to disconnect any hoses that are connected to outside faucets. This will ensure that water does not get trapped in the hose bib and damage the pipes. Drain the water from these hoses before storing them as well. It is also a good idea to insulate your hose bibs to make sure they do not freeze during the winter since they are outside.
Know where your water main is: Lastly, it is very important to know where your water main is in case of an emergency. If you were to encounter a burst pipe, you could quickly turn off the water main to minimize any further damage.
source – http://plumbinggurus.com