As winter weather approaches, so does the concern for frozen pipes. When pipes freeze, they can eventually rupture. This can cause significant flooding in the home and ultimately lead to severe water damage. For Toronto homeowners who are not familiar with water pipe maintenance, there are several things that can prevent this from occurring. Taking a few moments to do some preventative maintenance can keep your plumbing safe and operational this winter season.
The first step is to completely insulate the plumbing that water runs through. This also includes ensuring that the space it occupies is properly insulated as well. Pipes in attics, basements, and crawl spaces should be well insulated to ensure they do not burst during freezing weather.
For any exposed piping outside the home, it is also crucially important to ensure it is wrapped properly. Simply purchase an insulating kit from the home improvement store, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, wrap them with heavy blanket material and cover in a weather resistant cloth to prevent precipitation from touching the piping.
Pay Attention To Indoor Temperature
Many homeowners typically lower the thermostat when they leave the home for an extended period of time. This is not an ideal step during the coldest part of the winter season. When temperatures drop to freezing, homeowners could come home to flooding and water damage. Before leaving home, place the thermostat on at least 55 degrees to prevent many potential problems.
Allow Faucets To Run
On days for which a freeze is forecasted, allow the faucets to run continuously. There is no need to open them all, and they only need to trickle or slowly drip. This slight pressure difference allows the water to circulate freely through the plumbing. If water is left still in the pipes, it could eventually solidify and cause a flood with water damage.
Seal The Home
When attempting to prevent frozen pipes, one major step is to ensure the home is properly sealed. Cold air that finds its way into the home can decrease the amount of warm air, which can be a major problem for plumbing in the winter months. Take time to ensure that all windows and doors are properly sealed. Also, check any areas near the foundation that may be allowing cold air in and hot air out. Walk around, and see if there are any places in which cold air is seeping in, and seal up those spaces.
To seal, simply purchase some caulk or silicone from the home improvement store. Place a thin line against the space in which air is getting through. Allow it to thoroughly dry, and check to see if there is any more air escaping. If it still seems drafty, it may be necessary to have a contractor come to make sure that there is no underlying problem that is causing a draft to get inside.
Taking proper steps to ensure the pipes are safe during the winter is one of the best ways to prevent flooding and water damage.
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