Winter in Mississauga can be unforgiving when the temperatures dip down below freezing and the winds pick up speed. It is during these times, homeowners experience the most frequent problem with their plumbing in the winter: frozen pipes.
If you remember back to your chemistry or science courses, when water freezes it expands. This is why you hear nightmares about people’s homes getting flooded in the winter from frozen water lines. As the ice expands inside the pipe, it places added pressure on connections and different sections of the plumbing. Unfortunately, eventually something has to give, so the pipe can crack or be pulled apart at a connection, leading to water seeping in. As the pipes warm up and thaw, the water will quickly pour out of any openings and flood the home.
To avoid having to call emergency plumbers in Mississauga from Precise Plumbing, we offer the following suggestions to prevent frozen water lines in the winter:
1. Keep outside doors closed. Water lines are ran into homes in different areas, which could include your garage and basement. During the winter, avoid leaving the garage door open for an extended period of time, especially on cold days. In the basement, make sure any doors and/or windows are closed. If you have a crawl space under the home, close any air vents around the exterior of the home in the winter, to block out cold air.
2. Open cabinet doors on extremely cold days. Allow warm air to get under sinks and around the water lines. The air will also circulate into the interior parts of the home and could prevent water lines from freezing.
3. Never shut off your heat. Hydro and energy bills can be expensive in the winter and some homeowners try to save money by shutting off their furnaces while they are away from the home. While temperatures inside the home might not get too cold, the interior areas of the home could potentially fall below freezing. Rather, it is better to turn down the thermostat three to five degrees lower than your preferred “at-home” temperature.
4. Verify pipes are properly insulated. The water lines leading into your home need to be buried deep enough underground to prevent freezing. In cases where they cannot be buried as deeply as required, they need to be properly insulated to keep the cold out. Indoor pipes also need sufficient insulation within the interior walls, attic, basement, and/or crawl space.
5. Wrap exposed pipes. It is also beneficial to wrap exposed plumbing with an approved product to further protect against cold and freezing temperatures. Outdoors use special covers to put over exposed water faucets.
In addition, if you know certain areas of your home are not fully protected from freezing temperatures, you can turn on sink faucets and allow the water to drip out slowly to help prevent them from freezing solid until temperatures warm back up, but this will increase your water bill. For assistance in ensuring your water lines are protected from freezing, or in the event you do experience frozen pipes, feel free to contact the plumbing experts at Precise Plumbing by calling 647-878-9293 now!