When Winter Comes Before You Winterize

An early winter storm.

The last Jack o’ lanterns are still out and we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet, but an early, Arctic storm is advancing out of Alaska and mid-winter temperatures could be here before you have a chance to winterize.

Quick Shopping List

You may not have set aside time for a full winterizing before this storm hits, but you can make sure you have some essentials. Stock up on:

  • Batteries
  • Food
  • Firewood

Quick Maintenance

When Winter Comes Before You Winterize, gutter

If you don't have time to do anything else before the cold-snap, make sure your gutters are clean. It's still autumn, so a buildup of leaves could be in the way, which is a recipe for an ice dam on your roof. You might not have planned to do it this weekend, but it might be worth it to work it into your schedule.

Stay Safe - It's better to do this from a ladder than from the roof. Practice safe ladder usage.

Clear the Big Stuff - Use a garden spade to remove big clumps of leaves.

Wash it Clean - Follow up with a hose to wash the smaller debris down the downspouts.

Quick Repairs

When Winter Comes Before You Winterize, waterweld

When the cold catches you off guard, unprotected pipes and plumbing in your home are prone to freeze and burst. When they start to thaw, that’s the start of a flood. Since is so early in the season, you may not have your winter plumbing arsenal at hand. For a quick fix, use a cold weld to close up your fractured plumbing. J-B Weld is the go-to option. You can try caulk or that spray-on rubber, and they may hold for a little while, but neither is designed to stand up to the PSI of a pressurized pipe.

When Winter Comes Before You Winterize, waterweld

Prep the Pipe - After you shut off the water, clean the area around the break in the pipe and rough it up with sandpaper.

Apply the Putty - Kneed the WaterWeld putty and work it into the broken pipe. Let it set up for half an hour and you can turn the water back on.

Finish the Repair - After an hour it’s fully cured and you can sand it down and clean it up. Chances are you’re under your house, so you’re not going to need to paint it.

You can leave the repair as is, but especially when the pipe isn’t just cracked, but deformed, it’s best to come back when you have more time and replace the area with a new length of pipe. Even if you don’t, now take the opportunity to properly insulate and winterize your plumbing, because winter is still coming.