Fall is in full swing, before we know it the temperatures will drop and winter will truly be upon us. Before winter arrives, there are some important steps that you should take to winterize your home. Unfortunately there is one step that is commonly forgotten and can have serious consequences. This step is to winterize your exterior hose bib.
What is a Hose Bib?
A hose bib, also known as a faucet or spigot is the water line and valve found on the exterior of your home. Generally this is used with a hose hooked up to it, so that you can water your yard, wash your car, or complete any other chore that requires water outside.
Why do you need to winterize your hose bib?
During the winter, as temperatures dip below freezing, it is important to winterize any water line that could be subject to freezing. Since hose bibs are outside, these are very likely to freeze in freezing temperatures. The water in the line can freeze, and expand as it turns to ice, which can cause the water line itself to rupture!
When this happens a leak will occur and that leak can lead to mold growth. This can be extremely problematic if the leak occurs within the wall, or a similar area where it can go undetected for an extended period of time. While we would love the business, we would rather not see you spend money on a preventable mold remediation service.
How to winterize your hose bib
Thankfully, this is not a complex process, and should be an easy DIY task for just about any home owner.
- Locate the water shutoff for the hose bib. Assuming you have a basement, as most Pittsburgh homes do, this will almost always be in the basement. There are a few places that this may be. Most commonly this will be inside the home on the opposite side of the wall from where the hose bib is. Always check here first. In many newer homes, the shutoff can be found near the hot water heater. Occasionally these are found near the main water shutoff for the home. If you’re not sure, consult a plumber.
- Turn off the water to the hose bib at the shutoff. Depending on the type of valve used, this can be either a knob that you will turn counter clockwise, or a lever that will be turned perpendicular to the water line.
- Disconnect any hoses or attachments from the hose bib.
- Open the hose bib. Now you’ll open the valve on the hose bib allowing whatever water was in the line to drain out. Water should be fully drained from the line after 30-60 seconds.
- Close the hose bib. Once the water is done draining from the line, close the valve on the hose bib.
- (Optional) Install an insulated cover. An insulated hose bib cover will help to keep the line from freezing in even more extreme temperatures. While not necessary, at around $5 each, these covers can provide inexpensive insurance.
If you cannot turn off the water, or cannot locate the shutoff, make sure to contact a plumber for assistance.
Hopefully this helps keep your home mold free this winter, and for additional information and mold prevention tips, checkout our blog at https://moldmedics.com/mold-education/.