The severe cold that has plagued most of the country is wreaking havoc on many Ontario towns’ utilities. The sudden freezing temperatures have contributed to an unusual number of water main breaks this winter. This has been especially problematic for towns whose water infrastructure are older. The weather has also taken its toll on electrical lines, causing the plastic coating to freeze and crack. Civil Engineers have stated that the size of the water mains does not matter, and pipes from 6 inches to 16 inches are breaking. This issue has become a headache for many Ontario towns, because the water main breaks are unpredictable.
Many Toronto homeowners have experienced burst pipes in their kitchens and bathrooms. Luckily they are able to prevent any damage by shutting off the water supply. Unfortunately for some homeowners with empty rental properties or vacation homes, they have not been so lucky. Due to the fact that no one is occupying the home at that time, the heat is not running. This adds to the likelihood that a pipe has burst due to the frigid temperatures in the residence and water not moving regularly through the pipes. The wind has also played a big part in affecting these homes, dropping the temperature by nearly twenty degrees in some areas.
The problems have not just been affecting the outside walls, where most issues start during the winter, the central pipes have also been a problem. When the water starts flowing inside any home, it can cause major damage if not addressed immediately. The freezing temperatures only add to the amount of damage leaking water can have in an empty home. Since most people have clean water, salvaging items is usually fairly easy, but the damage the freezing water can do to a home’s wood floors and structure can be devastating. If the water does find its way to an electrical outlet, or an electrical item plugged into a wall it can cause a fire. Not dealing with any water leaks in a timely manner, may lead to a chance for mold growth. If the water damage is severe, companies are available to help homeowners restore their home as quickly as possible. Because of the number of homes experiencing floods due to burst pipes, these companies have seen a massive amount of work to be done throughout the country.
These are preventative measures that can be taken to ensure your property is less susceptible to freezing pipes and flooding:
- Locate the main water shutoff in your home before and make yourself familiar with the operation of it.
- Disconnect outside water hoses.
- Inspect outside faucets and repair any leaks.
- If your home has a separate shut off valve for the outside faucets, shut it off and drain the outside pipes.
- Big box home and garden stores stock faucet insulation kits.
- Keep the temperature inside your home above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The space between your walls is considerably colder than the interior walls.
- Let hot and cold water drip in sinks and baths over night. The moving water will prevent them from freezing.
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