You Can Avoid a Pluming Emergency By Taking a Few Steps to Protect Your Pipes from Freezing
Before you know it, the winter weather will soon be here, along with the snow, ice, sleet, and blistering winds that can easily cause our water lines and plumbing pipes to freeze. The property damage that can occur from bursting, frozen pipes can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Here are some very simple precautions that all homeowners can take to help avoid this potentially devastating nightmare.
- Turn off the outdoor spigots. All outdoor water faucets located on the windward side of the home will almost instantly freeze as soon as the temperature drops. And outside spigots with garden hoses attached just makes the freezing process occur that much more quickly. Shut off the water and store your hoses away in a dry, indoor location.
- Keep the garage doors closed in the winter months. Remember, the walls of your garage are filled with plumbing pipes. Leaving the garage door open give them a greater chance of freezing. Also, if your water heater just happens to be located inside the garage, then you will be experiencing a rather dramatic increase in your monthly utility bills as well.
- Keep all areas of the home heated. This even means your basement and outdoor storage units that also consist of plumbing pipes. Many condominium owners, for example, have a water heater that is located in a small closet on the outside deck. Make sure that the heating units to these rooms are working properly and that the doors and windows are properly sealed.
- Let the water faucets trickle during extremely cold weather. This is an old plumber’s trick that has worked since indoor plumbing was first invented. The constant movement and flow of water coming out of the faucet prevents the liquid from remaining stagnant and therefore freezing. The water from the tap should flow out in a very slow, steady trickle. Allowing the faucet to simply drip every few seconds may not be enough to keep the pipes from bursting.
- Check the piping insulation. Just like people, our water lines need to be wrapped up in order to stay warm. Check your plumbing pipes to make sure that they have adequate insulation, especially for pipes located in the exterior walls of the home. Too much insulation is always better than too little, and insulation is very inexpensive.
Need help preparing your home for the winter months? Give M.E. Flow in Leesburg, Alexandria, and Winchester a call and we can help you inspect your plumbing and prepare your heating and humidification system so it’s performing a peak efficiency.