Winter is here and with the drop in temperature comes an increase in potential plumbing emergencies, such as frozen, burst and blocked pipes. Battle the ice, snow and cold - and keep your home or business warm and dry - with these quick and easy seasonal plumbing tips.
Clean Your Gutters
Prevent seasonal pipe problems by removing the build up of leaves and debris from your gutters. Professional assistance may be required if what has accumulated is deep or severe. To prevent future blockages, install gutter guards to catch leaves before they enter your pipes.
Disconnect, Drain and Store Your Garden Hose
Ensure that your garden hose will water another year by disconnecting, draining and storing it somewhere with adequate protection from the elements. Left outdoors, ice can form inside the hose, which not only damages the hose itself but also leads to pressure build up inside the pipes in your home, boosting the risk of breakages and leaks.
Keep Your Pipes Warm
Insulating your pipes is a great way to prevent them from freezing or bursting when the cold weather comes. Many local hardware stores sell waterproof foam tubes just for this purpose that are self adhesive and can be cut to size. The thicker the insulation, the better the protection.
Heat Your Home
Circulating warm air inside the home helps to prevent the pipes inside the walls from freezing. To ensure that your home is being properly heated, check that your boiler is in good working order and, if necessary, get it serviced.
Repair Leaking Taps and Valves
Dripping water increases the risk of freezing! Examine the taps and valves throughout your household and repair any leaks before the temperature dips too low. Be sure to check your kitchen, bathroom, utility room and basement.
Following these winter plumbing tips will send you well on your way to a season of sitting by the fireplace enjoying mugs of warm tea instead of frantically searching for a plumber who can fix your burst pipe on a Sunday evening. Knowledge and advance preparation are key to avoiding problems.