When cold weather hits, your pipes need care and attention. To avoid water damage in winter months, there are steps you should take to protect pipes.
SINKS & BATHROOMS
- Sinks throughout the house should be checked regularly for signs of warping or discoloration. Be on the lookout for condensation or corrosion. Rubber hoses should be replaced with steel braided lines for added security.
- When freezing temperatures hit, open cabinet doors of sinks to let warm air circulate.
- Cold temperatures mean extra stress on your water heater. Space out shower and bathroom use. If necessary bump up the water temperature, but do not exceed 125 degrees.
- Be careful disposing of grease and oil from cooking. Cold temperatures can cause it to congeal in pipes, causing clogs. Try collecting it in containers instead of using the sink.
- Use low-demand times, like overnight, to run dishwashers and washing machines.
- Garbage disposals work hard and after years of use, they can wear out and start to leak. These leaks often smell foul and can lead to mold growth. Check under kitchen sinks often and fix any pipe or disposal leaks immediately.
- Check the attic for any signs of water damage including warping, wood deterioration, or discoloration.
- Protect exposed pipes with more insulation. Common areas are crawl spaces, basements, and attics. Use foam pipe insulation sleeves or pipe insulation tape.
- Disconnect garden hoses and drain excess water.
- Winterize home sprinkler systems.
- In freezing temperatures, shut off water to outside faucets and drain excess water.
- If you have a sump pump be sure to check the pipes for any outer blockage like ice or snow to avoid backup from entering the home.
- Shut off and drain any water lines to swimming pools, garden ponds, or fountains.
- Keep your thermostat consistent day and night.
- Let cold water drip from a faucet to relieve pressure when there are freezing temperatures outside.
- If you’re planning on taking a trip away from home, do not set the thermostat below 55 Degrees F.
- Open cabinet doors in the kitchen, bathroom, etc. to let warm air circulate.
- Keep garage doors closed.
- Close vents to any crawl space preventing inside heat from leaking.
- Seal cracks around windows and doors to prevent drafts from entering the home.
Water and freezing temperatures can cause some big problems for pipes. Dealing with this type of water damage can be inconvenient and costly. Taking necessary precautions and maintaining pipes over time is the best way to avoid water damage.
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