Winter is closing in on us, and it’s time to starting thinking about preparing your home for winter. One of the biggest concerns for homeowners is avoiding frozen pipes. In areas like Ontario where temperatures drop and stay well below freezing, learning how to prepare pipes and safely deal with frozen pipes if needed is all but mandatory.
Preparation tips for avoiding frozen pipes:
Know where your water pipes are. If your home is built in a colder climate, chances are your pipes are built into your home. This means they may be under the floor boards or in a basement. Homes in more temperate areas are more likely to have water pipes located under the home.
Block or seal air leaks from reaching the pipes. Caulking can be used to fill small cracks in the foundation or siding of your home.
Insulate your water pipes. Piping insulation can be bought at most hardware stores and is simply wrapped around the pipes like a sleeve. This is most often done for pipes located outside of the home, but is useful for all water pipes.
Let the faucets drip slightly. This will do little to prevent pipes from freezing, but can help prevent frozen pipes from bursting. The small flow of water reduces the amount of pressure placed on your pipes.
If you wake up and turn on the faucet to find that no water is coming out, your pipes are likely frozen. Leave the faucet turned on. As the water beings to thaw, it will slowly begin to run, which will help speed up thawing. Call a plumber if you suspect a burst pipe or if you wake up to a flooded home.