When it comes to plumbing, the winter season has its different set of problems compared to warm weather, and problems can happen at the worst times. Winter is all about the holidays, which are meant to be filled with fun and family – meaning it’s the worst time to have frozen pipes or other issues.
Toronto homeowners know that winter weather can cause damage to a home, simply by the effects of weathering, but what they might not think about while getting ready for winter is preparing the pipes. This is one of the most important items to have on the winter prep list for a home or condo owner, since water damage can happen fast, be extensive and lead to costly repairs, especially if it happens in the living area.
Thankfully, there are some helpful tips that can help you protect your pipes from freezing and possibly bursting. The reason pipes can split or burst during cold weather is simple: pipes run along the walls in an area like basements, outside walls, garages or even attics that are less insulated than other areas and more likely to freeze; you can visit Mister Plumber for more information about the causes of pipes freezing, if you’re interested, and also how to prevent them from freezing.
The simple fact is that water, when it freezes, expands, which can put stress on the pipes that do not expand. Some ways to avoid costly damage are by insulating the pipes with special foam made to fit on the pipes in basements and other areas that may be cold enough for the pipes to freeze and split. Another item that can be used in homes is heat tape, which is wrapped around the pipes.
Another way for Toronto homeowners to avoid pipes from freezing when the weather crawls below zero is to leave the faucets dripping and leave the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open so the pipes are exposed to the home’s heat. Also, if you’re the type of homeowner who turns the thermostat down when you’re not at home, do not set it below 13 degrees Celsius (or 55 degrees Fahrenheit).
Preparing your pipes certainly isn’t the most fun part about winter – you’d rather be cozying up to a movie and a warm drink – but it is necessary. Hire a professional plumber to check your home for air leaks and to insulate the pipes or make any necessary repairs; this proactive step will save you lots of money in the long run, avoiding a costly pipe emergency. It is also important to know where the master water valve shut-off is located in the event a pipe does split or burst, as this will turn all the water off to the home until a professional can repair the leak.
This winter, don’t let your plumbing get stuck out in the cold. Think ahead, be proactive, and take the necessary measures to ensure that your holidays, and the rest of the winter, are spent in peace.