Extreme cold and heavy precipitation often make life difficult in our homes. However, it’s not just the accumulation of snow and ice that can cause damage to your home. Frozen pipes can also cause significant water damage.
Here are a few practical tips to help you be prepared in case your pipes freeze.
In the fall, pay special attention to outdoor taps
When getting your home ready for winter, it is important to drain and turn off your outdoor taps. It is also important to keep your hoses in good working order. Remember to drain them and store them in a dry, warm place.
Make sure your outdoor taps are equipped with a vacuum breaker, a device that is placed on the outdoor water outlets and prevents your taps from freezing.
If your taps are not equipped with a vacuum breaker, make sure you flush them. T flush your taps, turn off the shut-off valve inside your home. Then, turn on the outdoor tap and drain the water.
A few tips to keep your pipes from freezing
It’s usually coldest in the morning and at night. This is also when pipes are most likely to burst. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it’s important to keep your pipes warm. Make sure your heat is working properly, and don’t forget rooms that are used less often like the garage.
Detecting frozen pipes
Frozen pipes is a phenomenon that occurs gradually and usually takes a couple of days before the water freezes and the pipes burst.
If detected early, you can avoid a lot of problems. Moreover, if you notice a decrease in water pressure when you turn on the water, this may be a sign of a broken pipe. When in doubt, contact a certified plumber.
Take precautions if you plan on going away for a few days
Do you plan on going away for a few days? You must take a few precautions to be able to give yourself peace of mind and prevent water damage and frozen pipes.
- Turn off the water inlet valve in your home and drain all fixtures and appliances (i.e. flush the toilet, drain the water from your taps, etc.).
- Turn off the water heater’s circuit breaker.
- Make sure the heat is on.
- Ask a neighbour or a family member to check on your home to make sure the heat is working, and everything is going well.
Am I covered in case my pipes freeze?
Many home insurance policies cover damage caused by freezing. However, these policies are subject to conditions and exclusions, especially if you are required to leave for a few days during the winter. We invite you to refer to your insurance policy for further details or contact us to see whether you have this coverage.
We hope that you have learned more about frozen pipes. For more tips and advice on home maintenance during the winter, we invite you to refer to our article on snow removal.