Freezing pipes can be a big problem in Canada. Let’s try to prevent freezing pipes this winter. When water freezes, the molecules expand. Frozen water inside pipes can cause pipes to expand, stressing the pipes and joints. Water pressure buildup between ice in the pipes and the faucet or valve can lead to a burst. Even if caught quickly, a burst pipe can cause significant damage to your home. Left unnoticed, such as when no one is home, the damage to your home and belongings can be massive.
Consider these steps to prevent frozen pipes
During cold weather months:
– Keep interior temperature set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Keep doors open inside your home to allow heat to circulate. Also attend to drafts, sealing off cold air from outside.
– Open cabinet doors near sinks to allow warm air to reach plumbing.
– Turn on faucets to a slow trickle. A lake freezes before a river; flowing water helps prevent freezing.
If you have a frozen pipe:
– If no water comes out of the faucet or flow is reduced to a trickle, the pipe may be frozen, but not yet burst. Thaw the pipe with a hair dryer or space heater, moving heat over the length of the pipe. After the pipe is thawed, address drafts or similar conditions that can cause freezing to prevent the pipe from freezing again.
– You can also use hot towels or a heating pad to thaw pipes, but do not leave heaters or heating pads unattended or positioned near anything flammable.
– If a pipe bursts or is leaking, turn off the water supply to the pipe and work quickly to address small spills. The pipe will need repair. For larger amounts of water, you may need to contact your insurer about damage to your home or belongings. However, in many cases, this step is not needed and spills can be mopped up without professional remediation.
Contact your broker to make sure you and your home are properly protected.