Pipes can burst and cause a tremendous amount of damage to your home and belongings. Some simple prevention measures can help you avert costly damage, and time-wasting clean up.
Preparing for Winter
If you live in a cold weather climate then preparing for winter is imperative. To avoid freezing and bursting of pipes, it is crucial to understand when water freezes it expands and leads to breaking or bursting pipes and faucets. Before the first freeze you should disconnect the outside water hoses. Most homes are equipped with interior shut-off valves, which control water to outside faucets. These should be closed.
Not only should you make sure to close off interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, but you also need to make sure you drain all water from the outside faucets. If the water is exposed to the cold it will expand and most likely crack your pipes. Even a small crack can unleash more than 250 gallons of water in a single day.
Even interior pipes are susceptible. Many pipes in your home may run right along exterior walls in your home, or even be in walls that are exposed to outdoor elements. You need to ensure your home is insulated correctly. If your home is not insulated properly then you risk frozen, bursting pipes.
Before You Go Out of Town
Before you head out of town, make sure you turn off your water. Shut off your main water valve, and drain the water from the lowest and highest points in your house. For instance, a basement sink, or a top floor bathroom, simply need to be opened until no water comes out of the faucet. This preventative measure will insure that when you return you won’t find a flooded basement.
If you travel over the winter, or winter in a warmer location, it is important to have someone check on your house every few days. Turning down your thermostat is a great way to save energy, and money, but to insure that your pipes do not freeze you should never turn it below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Power outages can occur and pilot lights go out all the time, leaving your home susceptible to the elements. Having someone check on your home will help. It only takes about three days for the house to get cold enough for pipes to freeze. Another preventive measure is to use temperature-sensing systems that can turn on an interior light when your house drops below 55 degrees. This alerts a neighbor who can resolve the situation before damage occurs.
Pipe malfunctions are sometimes inevitable. However, by following these simple steps you are minimizing your risk. If you have additional questions relating to your home’s specific plumbing concerns, do not hesitate to contact a professional. Do not let a leak turn into a burst. Contact a professional to give you the insight you need to prevent damage from occurring.