Winterizing Your Home
Winter will soon be here, and it will provide several months of cold that could not only be a health risk if you spend any extended time outdoors, but also a risk to your property. As plumbers, we are particularly focused on the potential problems that could occur to your pipes and plumbing systems during these coldest months of the year.
By being proactive with preventative maintenance, you can avoid an emergency plumbing situation this winter, including some of these common winter plumbing problems.
Frozen indoor pipes
The simplest method of preventing your indoor pipes from freezing is to make sure you maintain an indoor temperature of at least 13 degrees Celsius, including when you are away from home. That is a bare minimum temperature—we’d generally recommend going higher than that, and if you’re going to be home, you’ll want to keep it warmer to stay comfortable anyway.
If you have pipes located in cabinets near outdoor walls, it can be beneficial to open those cabinets at night or when you will away to let warm air into the cabinets and circulate around the pipes. You could also consider insulating your pipes, so you don’t have to remember to open those cabinets. If you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, it could be a sign of freezing pipes—keep an eye on your plumbing fixtures and pipes and make sure they don’t show any signs of freezing, especially during extreme cold.
Frozen outdoor pipes
If you have pipes located outdoors, you’ll need to act while the weather is still warm. Turn off water to the outdoors using the shut-off valves somewhere on your property (often in the basement, under sinks near the outside wall or in the garage). In addition, make sure you open the outside value too to allow the residual water to drain out of the line. This will prevent those pipes from freezing during winter and from cracking or bursting. You can also add insulation to outdoor pipes or cover them with permanent or temporary shelters.
Basement flooding may occur with the melting of snow during or after the winter. Check all the main drainage areas on your property and make sure there’s a clear path for the water runoff to go. Clear out leaves and other blockages so the water doesn’t collect in a single area, which could cause it to run down through your foundation.
Ensuring the efficiency of your water heater can help you save money during winter and also keep the appliance in good condition for a longer period of time. Keep the area around the water heater as warm as possible. This is especially going to be an issue for homes with unheated basements or if the water heater is located in the garage. It can help to add insulation or caulk to any areas where cold air could get in and to close off crawl spaces where appropriate. If your water heater is showing signs of malfunctioning, get it serviced as soon as possible. If you are going away, you may consider shutting off and draining the heater until you return.
For more tips to help you prevent some major plumbing issues this winter, contact one of the professionals at PipeMasters today: email@example.com or (289) 404-9063. PipeMasters is part of Oakridge Plumbing Ontario Ltd. and serves the East GTA, Durham Region, North to Lindsay & Peterborough, out to Cobourg and all points in between. All Rights Reserved.