Frozen pipes can cause more than a mess
(NC) Plumbing issues are part of being a homeowner, since over time you are bound to experience problems with your drains, toilets, and showers. However, one potential plumbing issue that most of us don't think about is the possibility of our pipes freezing during the winter.
The time of year when pipe freezing should be monitored varies based on where you live, but once the temperature outside goes below zero, your pipes could freeze. This happens for a number of different reasons, but the most common occurrences are when heat is turned down during winter trips, or when homeowners neglect to shut off the water leading to external faucets.
“Don't turn down your heat too much if you go away, and make sure that you have either a remote system that monitors the temperature, or you have a reliable person inspect your home regularly,” says Wayne Ross, an insurance expert with Aviva Canada. “You could risk having your pipes frozen if the temperature inside your home drops or the furnace stops working when you are away.”
Ross also points out: “If you open a tap and no water comes out, don't take any chances and call a plumber right away.”
When water freezes it expands, he says, and this is a serious issue if it happens in your pipes. If a pipe bursts when you are at home, turn off your water at the main valve right away. Wait for a plumber to inspect the pipes to determine the damage, if any. If you do have water damage as a result of a burst pipe, call your insurance company. They will be able to assist you with your claim.
Tips for preventing pipes from freezing
Homeowners can take the follow steps:
• Have your pipes inspected to ensure they are properly insulated.
• Have all seals checked. Seal leaks can lead to cold air getting in your pipes and freezing the water.
• As part of fall chores, turn off outside taps and disconnect outdoor hoses.
• Install frost free faucets (hose bibbs) for supplying water to the front and back yards. If installed correctly they can prevent pipes from freezing and also prevent water damage.
• Install water shut-off alarms that shut off the water supply if a leak is detected.
• Drain all pipes if you are going to be away for an extended period of time (more than four consecutive days).
If you are concerned about your pipes freezing, take the safe route and have a plumber take a look. This inspection can save you a lot of money and hassle.
More details about home safety, security and sufficient coverage is available from your insurance broker.
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