Maintenance problems around your home can really turn into a disaster, learn how to not let this happen to you. Each year there are around 250,000 of these maintenance disasters when the pipes in the home burst and cause nothing but problems. Lives are turned upside down as well when the ceiling comes down on your head. These problems can be avoided with just a bit of common sense and some planning.
Winter is on its way, and with it comes the need to winterize your home. One area you can’t afford to take any chances with is that of preparing your plumbing pipe-work for the freezing cold weather.
I hope that you’ve never had to experience bursting water pipes in your home. It is not a pleasant site when you see the damage that all that water can cause and the amount of property damage that has to be repaired.
So what could be some of the reasons why your water pipes might freeze. There are many different reasons, but I will list 3 of the main reason. You have poor insulation around your pipes, you set your thermostat way to low and or there was a very quick drop in temperature that can happen in colder and even warmer climates. One little crack in a water pipe can send two hundred to three hundred gallons of water a day into your home. And what if you’re not home to turn the water off. Oh my, this could be a large problem. The damage to the structure of your home could be impaired, and the mold that is going to occur and the smell from it might just send you out of your home until your remove all the moldy parts. What about the flooding that is going to go on in the home? This could be immense when you think about all that water pouring into your home.
Here are some simple ways to prevent this winter problem:
Keep pipes warm. You may find exposed pipes in your home’s crawlspace and/or attic area. When you find the exposed pipe, ensure you have some insulation with you and wrap that pipe with the insulation. More is better in this case. Any type of insulation that you can wrap around the pipe is great, but the foam rubber pipe insulation works really well and is easy to install.
Heat tape is an option for people who live in very cold climates and have exceptionally cold winters. The heat tape would be controlled by a thermostat to keep the tape warm and ensuring that the pipes will not have a chance of freezing. When you buy the heat tape it can explain how to install it, so just follow those instructions.
When you’re alerted to cold weather that is coming, you want to take this additional simple step. Open the cabinet doors to allow the warm air that is inside of your home to get back to the walls where your water pipes are located.
Air leaks must be sealed. You would not believe but even a very small air leak that lets that extremely cold air in can cause your pipes to freeze and possibly burst. Make sure that you inspect your home thoroughly to ensure that you don’t have any air leaks. Some of the most common things to look for are your dryer vents, any electrical wiring that is coming in from the outside, or any outdoor to indoor pipes may have area’s for cold air to enter and cause the pipes to freeze. You can find some of these places in the attics and crawlspaces of your home. When you find these penetrations that are leaking, seal them up using some type of caulk or even stuffing insulation into the spaces. Expanding foam sealant is great to use to seal these varieties of leaks. Find it in your local hardware store. Cut away the excess when dried completely.
The water system. Running a cold water faucet during the cold weather will allow the water to continue to flow in the pipes and this will prevent them from freezing. There are some that say you need to run the hot water. This seems like a huge waste while heating and continuously running the water. I have tried and running the cold water and it will work just fine.
Choosing a faucet that is closest to the outside wall is best to run the water from. The smallest air leak from the outside can cause the pipe to freeze. (Maybe running the garden hose would be good idea)
When you’re planning a winter trip and you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time, it is better to be safe than sorry. Make sure that you shut off the water to your home and if you can drain the system. This will ensure that nothing can happen while you are away. Don’t go any lower than 55F degrees on your thermostat when you are going to be gone for an extended period of time.
Your home’s plumbing is a major investment, and one that you will need to last for many years to come. Do not take chances when it comes to your plumbing and insulation. These are things that you can’t see and something that you do not want to worry about. Big plumbing jobs is not something that you need to do a DIY repair on, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re going to attempt to just figure it out as you go along. Large mistake. Leave these kinds of jobs to the professionals like us to make sure that the job is done right the first time and you don’t have any problems down the road.
Author: Anthony GundermanThis author has published 1 articles so far.