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Winterize Your Home

When temperatures drop to below 30 degrees, our houses go through a lot. Your roof and gutters are covered in heavy snow and ice, pipes may freeze, your deck gets weathered, and the list goes on! As we live in Canada (one of the top five coldest countries in the world, according to Basic Planet) we need to winterize our homes and prepare ourselves.

Without proper care, our pipes are vulnerable to the cold. Exactly How Long states that well-insulated pipes can freeze and burst in a mere six hours with no use or heat in only below six degrees. Due to the importance of the pipes in our homes, we discuss the vital practice of drain cleaning. Moreover, we will list important winterizing tasks to keep your home and family safe over the winter.  

Why Clean Your Drains?

Indeed, your drains can clog any time of the year. However, winter brings more complications. 

As we all remember from our middle school science classes, water expands when it freezes. If our drains are full of hair, food, grease, etcetera, there is less space for the water. Eventually, if the frozen water expands enough, your drains can break and your pipes can burst. 

Making sure your drains are properly cleaned can reduce your risk of a frozen drain. Even if your drains are only partially clogged, a small amount of standing water can trigger bigger problems. 

Furthermore, while one clogged drain may seem like a small issue, it could create problems with the rest of your plumbing. The drains in your home are the exit routes for all your plumbing systems! In turn, the problems become harder to fix. 

MacLeod’s Plumbing and Heating specialists efficiently remove drain blockages to restore your drains quickly. 

How Can I Tell if My Pipes Are Frozen?

Frozen pipes

There are a few signs that you can look out for. If you catch the problem early, you can prevent more damage! Moreover, MacLeod’s offers 24/7 emergency service in case the worst happens. 

First of all, when the weather drops to freezing, keep an eye out for a lack of water. If water barely dribbles out of your faucet, you may want to give us a call. Secondly, gurgling pipes and odorous water can mean two things: ice is traveling through your pipes, and your sewer line is freezing. 

Another noticeable sign is bulging pipes. As the water expands and the ice forms, the pipe’s strength will be tested. Cracks may form and eventually, the pipe may burst. 

If you do believe that your pipes are freezing, turn off your water and give us a call

What Else to Winterize

Of course, keeping your pipes from bursting isn’t enough of a pain. There are quite a few other winterizing tasks you may want to consider completing! 

  • We want you to make sure your water heater is running smoothly. Annual testing is always a good idea as nobody wants their hot water tank to quit on them in the middle of winter.
  • Another important part of winterizing is having someone look at your furnace. Routine testing will not only keep your furnace running for a longer amount of time but also potentially save you money. MacLeod’s team is familiar with all brands of furnaces. Also, we offer new installations and repairs. Our workmanship is guaranteed for five years, giving you peace of mind that you will receive the best possible service. 
  • To protect your pipes, it is vital to remove your garden hoses from your outdoor spigots. Moreover, closing the inside shut-off valves and draining the spigot will give you extra reassurance that your pipes will survive the winter.
  • If you are worried that your home is too cold, wrap your exposed pipes for better insulation. Some people use foam, others use simple towels and rags, but always make sure that your wrap is secure. Make sure you check on your pipes regularly to see if your insulation job is sufficient. 
  • Are you the person in your house who says, “Close the door, you’re heating the whole neighbourhood!”? Well, you may want to double-check the seals on your windows and doors. Make sure that your caulking is high-quality, and can withstand cold weather and age. Also, consider improving or redoing your insulation if you find your home is not holding heat through the winter as well as it used to.

What Can Go Wrong?

The cost of issues within your home can grow exponentially. Fixing complications before they become real problems can save you plenty of money. 

Burst Pipes

We have talked about pipes a lot within this article, but with good reason! The damage a burst pipe can cause is astounding. Think about the worst-case scenario– temperatures drop steadily over the week and you haven’t had time to winterize. Your drains are partially clogged, but they’ve been in a poorer state before so you aren’t worried. When you’re at work on an especially chilly day, your pipe bursts in your basement. The leak floods your nice flooring and now you face worries of mold and rot. Not an ideal situation by any means! 

Carbon Monoxide

Our furnaces work overtime for a quarter of the year, minimum. Making sure your furnace filters are clean, your furnace is functioning, and your vents are debris-free will cut down the risk of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide detectors in your home are always good to have, just in case. 

money loss

Bigger Bills

Like we said before, nobody wants to heat the neighborhood. If your furnace is insufficient or due for an upgrade, your utility bill may rise more than you thought possible.  Moreover, if you have poor seals and insulation, you’ll have to have the heat turned up higher than usual just to feel mildly comfortable. Energy Rates states that the average home uses 40% more natural gas and 8% more electricity for every 10 degrees C drop below zero. We already pay more in winter; nobody needs even more extra costs!


Certainly, there’s plenty to do! Protecting your pipes and winterizing your home go hand in hand. Today, we discussed why cleaning your drains before the winter rolls in is a good idea, how to tell if your pipes are frozen, and the other tasks that you may want to complete before the November chill sets in. Lastly, we reminded you of the worst-case scenarios and why all the frustrating work is necessary. 

The job can feel big, but winterizing will keep your home (and everyone within it) safe. 

MacLeod’s Heating and Plumbing

Hopefully, you already have a jumpstart on winterizing your home. If you do need some assistance with quality checks, drain cleaning, and any other heated or plumbing-related issues, we are among Calgary’s finest! Our certified and expert team can handle any task. What’s more, we can do the job quickly and efficiently! MacLeod’s plumbing and heating are big believers in doing a job right the first time. We do not want to repeatedly come back to your house or hand you big bills. What we do want is to make your home a better, and safer place. 


Contact us today with any questions, emergencies, or tasks. 

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