It is said that prevention is better than cure, and so it is with taking care of your pipes before a catastrophe happens.
Winter in many areas brings cold temperatures. The time to take preventative measures if before the weather gets too cold. Just as you would prepare the rest of your home for winter, it is important to pay attention to your plumbing.
Laura Beck from http://www.expressplumbingandheating.ca/ – Red Deer Plumbers points out “When freezing temperatures outside cause the water in your pipes to turn to ice it expands. Unfortunately, pipes are not made to expand with the increased volume that ice creates and so they crack and break. Once the ice starts to melt and the water starts to flow again it will seep out through the cracks, and you have a leak. The expense of having cracked and broken pipes replaced may just be the beginning of what could turn out to be a much larger cost.”
Leaks left unattended may cause damage to the house itself turning what may have been a pipe repair into something that is going to take considerable time and money to return to its former condition. It takes very little time for frozen pipes to give way under the increased pressure of frozen water.
There are steps you can take to prevent such a disaster happening to you, as follows:
- Familiarize yourself with the location of the water main and how to shut it off
- Keep your thermostat set to no less than 55 degrees
- Turn off the water supply and drain the pipes by running them until clear if you intend to be away for more than a day or two
- Locate and turn off valves on all spigots located on the outside of your home and drain all the water from them
- Replace outdoor faucets with freeze proof models when able. If not insulated covers should be put on all outdoor spigots.
- Garden hoses should be drained and stored away
- Purchase foam insulation from your local hardware or plumbing supply store and wrap all exposed pipes to add a protective layer against freezing temperatures. This includes any pipes that can be seen on the outside of the home, in the crawl space and the attic. Most foam insulation has a cut down the middle so it can be placed around the pipe with ease.
Foundation vents should be covered to stop heat escaping from the crawl space. All door, window and foundation cracks should be sealed to prevent heat loss.