Tips for Preventing Pipes from Freezing and Bursting in your Home

January 16th, 2018 · No Comments · by

frozen burst pipe

This winter has already been brutalizing parts of Canada with severely cold weather, and with that winter weather come winter plumbing issues. A common problem when the cold arrives is frozen pipes that burst and leave homeowners with flooded basements and water rushing through their walls and ceilings. We’ve put together a list of tips to help prevent your plumbing from freezing and some additional tips to keep in mind in the unfortunate case that your pipes do burst and damage your home.

Resist the urge to turn the thermostat down. You may think it’s a great idea to turn the temperature in your home down and throw on some warmer layers in the hopes of saving a few dollars on your heating bill, but this thinking can be a costly mistake. This isn’t to say your home needs to be heated so much that you feel like you’re sitting on a beach down somewhere hot, but it should be comfortable and warm enough to keep pipes from freezing.

Give pipes in tricky places exposure to heated air. While the main living space of your home may feel heated, pipes that are run through certain areas of your home, including crawl spaces or in bathroom vanities in your basement, may be shielded from the warm air and at risk of freezing. Open these areas up as much as possible to allow warm air in to keep the pipes in these areas warm.

Don’t ignore what your taps are telling you. If you open a tap that had flowing water just recently but suddenly nothing is coming out, don’t walk away and forget about it. This is likely a sign that the water is frozen in your pipes and if you act fast you may be able to save the pipe from bursting. The best thing to do in this situation is to get warm air on the pipes and call a plumber.

Remember your outdoor taps. Often forgotten about, water supply lines that go to exterior garden spigots should be shut off and drained properly in the fall before cold weather risks frozen pipes.

Should you find yourself with a burst pipe in your home, shutting the water off as quickly as possible can make a big difference in how much damage is done. For this reason, all homeowners should know where their home’s water shut off is as a plumber is not always able to race over to your home the moment you call.

Since burst pipes are a large source of insurance claims each year, we encourage home owners to keep these tips in mind to protect their home and best deal with a flood should one happen:

Have someone check-up on your home while away. The winter makes an easy choice for people to go on vacation to warmer destinations. If leaving for vacation during a cold time of year, have a family member, friend, or trusted neighbour house-sit or check on your home at least once every few days. This way a problem is more likely to be noticed and severe damage may be avoided should your home get too cold.

Protect your valuables. Make it a habit to store important documents, expensive electronics and other valuables or sentimental items in another area of your home rather than your basement. If they must be stored in your basement, place them in waterproof bins or high enough off the floor that they wouldn’t be damaged in the event of a flood.

Document any damage. If a flood does occur in your home, document any damage with photos which may help if you end up filing an insurance claim for water damage.

If you have any concerns about your plumbing this winter, or at any time of year, give us a call at 416-486-0000.

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Tags: Frozen Pipes · General Interest · Home Plumbing Tips

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