Water damage due to a frozen pipe that has burst is a real problem in Canada during the winter. Some simple tips and recommendations can help prevent what can be a very expensive repair for the homeowner.
1. Keep the heat on, preferably above 21 degrees C when the outside temperature is extremely cold. Don’t try and lower costs by lowering the temperature at night, it could cost you more in the long run !
2. Keep all the interior doors open in your house, and keep the garage door closed.
Keeping rooms and bathroom doors open help circulate the warm air throughout the home. Some attached garages have water piping running through them, in freezing temperatures it won’t take long to freeze them with the garage door open, or even partially cracked open.
3. Keep a tap open with a small drip. (Preferably the bathtub). Pipes burst when water freezes then expands. When it’s very cold out, leaving a faucet open can help relieve pressure in the line, preventing water in it from freezing and expanding.
4. Consider wrapping exposed water piping with heat tape. There are a couple different products out there. Some have a switch and plug to turn on and off, and there are also wrapping with a sensor that turns it on when it needs heat.
5. Proper insulation under floors, crawlspaces and utility rooms go a long way to prevent pipes from getting too cold. I frequently see homes that are lacking proper or any insulation at all in these areas.
Going away for an extended period ?
1. Turn off the main water
2. Start at the top floor and open all the faucets and flush the toilets
3. Drain the hot water tank, with a hose, connect to the bottom attachment on the tank and let drain into the utility room floor drain.
4. Disconnect the washer machine hoses.
Keep the ice on the hockey rink, not in your home !!