Take these steps to avoid the problem altogether.
Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to cover the outdoor furniture, rake up the remaining leaves, pull out the parkas and snow shovels, and start thinking about eating some turkey and pumpkin pie! And more importantly, it’s time to keep your family safe in the chill of the season.
We don’t know what Mother Nature has in store for us this winter, but it’s bound to dip below freezing sooner or later, so it’s also time to think about how your pipes will do in the colder weather and make sure you don’t come home to any unexpected and unpleasant surprises. Pipes that aren’t properly insulated can freeze and burst, causing damage and flooding (that can also mean mold growth!) The good news is that this is usually avoidable, and an ounce of prevention now can prevent pounds of pain later!
Protect pipes exposed to the outdoors
Be sure to disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets. These water-lines are the most susceptible to damage during the cold winter months, and taking these precautions will ensure that there will be nothing to freeze. It is also recommended that you wrap pipes nearest to exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or heating tape, protecting these exposed pipes from the worst of winter’s cold sting.
Protect indoor pipes
Get your home ready for the winter cold by closing all windows near water pipes and cover or close open-air vents and insulating outside walls and uninsulated areas of your home. Drafty windows, door frames and basement areas can allow cold in, and if there are pipes in those areas, they’ve vulnerable. Caulking or sealing those areas will not only protect your pipes, but save you money on your heating bill!
Use your heater to your own advantage
Although it’s tempting to supposedly save money in the winter by keeping the heat very low, or even turning you heat off when you travel for the holidays, these habits can inflict fatal damage on your pipes. It is recommended that you keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher at all times, and this rule applies to your basement as well. While keeping your heater on at all times may seem to be a waste of money, it will save you loads of it in the long run, as it will prevent frozen pipes and pipe bursts in your future.
Maintain healthy conditions for your faucets and kitchen pipes
The first step to ensuring that your home doesn’t freeze over is allowing airflow to move freely throughout the house so that one room doesn’t become colder than the rest. By keeping cabinet and interior doors open, you allow heat to spread evenly throughout your home, so that it reaches each room and under-sink pipe in your household. In addition to this, if a certain pipe has given you trouble or is in a particularly cold area of your home, it’s important to keep that faucet dripping slightly with lukewarm water. It’s annoying, we know, but the age-old trick rarely fails. With water moving, the pressure from a small, frozen area in a pipe can’t cause it to burst.
In case of an emergency, make sure that you know how to keep the damage to a minimum. Be sure that you can identify the main water shut-off in our house and on your water heater. This will prevent further occurrences of bursting pipes or flooding in your home, and give you the peace of mind of knowing that even if the worst comes, you are prepared.
We hope these tips will help keep you and your pipes safe, dry and toasty warm this winter. But if you ever have a problem, your property restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away.