We’ve all seen it – homeowners wrapping up their outside water faucets with protective covers or even just some old towels. But have you ever paused to wonder, “Why cover outside faucets?” There’s more to this simple act than meets the eye.
The Science Behind Why Cover Outside Faucets
Outdoor faucets, often referred to as hose bibs or spigots, are highly susceptible to the changing weather conditions. In regions experiencing chilly winters, the water inside the faucets can freeze. When water turns to ice, it expands, and this expansion can put tremendous pressure on your faucet and the connecting pipes.
A comprehensive article from the American Red Cross explains the critical nature of preventing frozen water pipes as part of household safety. In a similar vein, This Old House discusses methods to preemptively tackle freezing pipes, highlighting the practical steps homeowners can adopt to avert significant repair costs.
The Benefits of Covering Your Outside Faucets
Covering your outside faucets is a strategic move every homeowner should consider. By responding to the imminent threat of freezing temperatures, you also understand the long-term advantages. When you invest that little extra effort to cover your faucets, you’re essentially preventing expensive repair jobs stemming from burst pipes due to freezing.
Additionally, you’re contributing to the overall longevity of your faucets by protecting them from the harsh elements, thereby ensuring they serve you efficiently for longer. This small act plays a significant role in maintaining consistent water pressure and flow, which is crucial for everyday home activities.
Moreover, it helps in preserving the quality of the water by preventing contaminants from infiltrating your water supply through exposed faucets. Below are some benefits of covering your outdoor faucets.
Prevent Expensive Repairs:
This is the big one. When water inside the faucet or pipes freezes and expands, cracks can occur. Repairing these cracks or replacing burst pipes can be a costly affair. By simply covering your outdoor faucets, you’re making a small investment to save a potential major expense.
Longevity of Faucets:
Consistent exposure to the elements can wear down your faucets over time. By using a cover, you’re not only protecting against the cold but also against other environmental factors like rain, sun, or dirt. This means your faucets will last longer and remain in better working condition.
A well-maintained and protected faucet ensures optimal water flow and minimal leakages. An efficiently working faucet can contribute to water conservation and reduced utility bills.
Avoid Water Contamination:
Exposed faucets can become entry points for dirt and contaminants. By keeping faucets covered, you’re ensuring the water coming out of them remains clean and free from potential external pollutants.
How to Properly Cover Your Outside Faucets
Now that you understand the “why,” let’s discuss the “how.” Covering your outdoor faucet isn’t a complex task, but there are a few steps to ensure maximum protection.
Turn Off the Water Supply:
Before winter hits, make sure to turn off the water supply to your outdoor faucets. Turning off the water ensures that no water is trapped inside, which could freeze.
Drain the Faucet:
Once the water supply is off, open the faucet and let any remaining water drain out. Doing this ensures the faucet and connected pipes are empty.
Use a Faucet Cover:
Faucet covers are readily available at home improvement stores. They’re designed to insulate and protect your faucet from the cold. Simply slip them over your faucet and secure them in place.
Periodically check your covered faucets during the colder months. Ensure the covers remain in place and inspect for any potential ice buildup or other issues.
Ready to Winterize Your Home?
The simple act of covering your outdoor faucets can have a profound impact on your home’s maintenance and efficiency. Completing these tasks goes beyond just preventing pipe damage; it’s about safeguarding your home’s functional integrity, ensuring clean water and avoiding unnecessary expenses. As the colder months approach, we encourage homeowners to take this essential step in preparing their homes for winter.
Need assistance or professional advice on the best practices for winterizing your home? Don’t hesitate to reach out to experts at Demarco who can help you secure your home against the harsh winter elements.
Remember, a little effort now can save a lot of trouble later.