The end of the year is rolling in. The holiday season will come and go, and oftentimes, it’s those small but important things that quickly shuffle down our to-do lists. While your pipe system might be the last thing on your mind, its impacts can become swiftly noticeable, especially when they’re left unattended and an incident occurs.
So, when the snowflakes start to fall in, consider taking some small steps to stop your winter wonderland from becoming your winter nightmare. Let’s dive into the simple ways to keep your pipes from bursting this winter.
Keep it toasty
When the cool shivers start creeping in, you may not be the only one in need of a comfy blanket. A pipe will burst when the water that pipes transfer freezes—expanding, combusting, and making an awful mess in the process.
To fight the coming cold, you can insulate your pipes with a protective layer of foam padding or adding the support of heat tape, keeping them safe and snug throughout the winter months.
Let it drip
It can initially seem counterintuitive to leave a dripping tap leaking, but as it turns out, those irritating droplets on the bathtub are helping to release unwanted water pressure and build-up. Letting your bathroom taps or shower heads release a bit of steam may be the self-repair mechanism you need.
With reduced pressure, there is a lesser chance for fractures and cracks, and any extra dollars on the bill can be a welcome alternative to emergency plumbing costs in the future.
Seal up the cracks
Water is your piping system’s best friend, but in winter, it can quickly become its worst enemy. Try to keep any extra cold and damp air from reaching your protected pipes by identifying any cracks or air gaps in your walls.
If you identify an opening, try your best to plaster-seal the hole. This will help you to keep your home temperature at around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, setting the optimal heat conditions for your pipes.
Let the heat travel
Once you’ve found a way to keep the winter out of your abode, take a different approach to the circulation of heat in your rooms. Keep as many of your doors and access points open, particularly those that contain crucial piping units.
Again, working against your instincts, the American Red Cross recommend that you keep your thermostat on, whether you are at home or not. Keeping a stable, warm temperature in your home may add some extra costs to your heat bill, but again, it also protects you against potentially larger repair costs down the track.
Play ‘hide and seek’ with your pipes
Remember to check for pipes hidden in hard-to-reach locations or less-visited spots in your home. Make sure your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, switchboard, windows, and dryer vents are on your list.
Hear it from the experts
When the colder months come rushing in, keeping your pipes from bursting is a priority on everyone’s radar. The National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer a series of guidelines to help you ‘winterize’ your home, and prepare yourself for the chilly welcome of the start of the new year.
The CDC recommend two major actions to take. The first is to weatherproof your home. Consider weather stripping and storm windows, insulating your water lines, getting any unwanted clutter out of your gutters, and repairing and sealing leaks. Once that is completed, it is crucial that you conduct routine checks to your heating system. Clean and service all heating systems, including fireplaces and chimneys. And be sure to have your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed properly and routinely checked, as well.
But what if the unexpected happens?
Sometimes—by no fault of our own—we find ourselves in a pipe-bursting emergency. If a crisis does hit, stay calm and quickly locate your main water valve to switch it off. Be sure to keep yourself, and anyone in your company, away from sources of standing water and get straight in touch with your local experts, like the team at Pipe Shark sewer repair.