With colder weather in the forecast, the first big freeze is generally when people realize they, or rather their pipes, weren't ready for winter. Here are 3 things every home owner should do to prepare for winter and avoid essential and costly repairs.
1. Shut off and drain all outside taps if that is an available option. Some places have frost free hose bibbs which should not require draining but as a precaution we install separate shutoffs where it is convenient to do so. This ensures you have a secondary failsafe. Insurance claims are abundant in the spring due to improper installation of frost free hose bibbs. Unfortunately, leaks aren't typically discovered until the spring when you first use your hose for the first time, as you use your hose, the water seeps through the split and into your walls. Insurance here we come.
2. Ensure the main water supply to your house is protected from the elements. If your main shutoff is in the mechanical room and contained inside the house then not to
worry. If like many homes in the Valley, you have a crawlspace or your main shut off is in an unheated area, you will need to ensure there is heat tape on the line and have it insulated as well. Make sure the heat tape is tested and is in working condition. It only takes 5 minutes to check and can save you hours of head aches and costly repairs.
3. Have someone check your home or have temperature alarms in place. If you are heading out for the holidays or will be away for an extended period of time. Action will need to be taken quickly if there is an unforeseen malfunction has occurred with your heating system. Sadly, we deal with these preventable freeze ups on
a constant basis throughout the winter months. It can be as simple as having a neighbour or a local home check business check your property every few days. Technology is also a great tool with various systems and apps that can alert you if your house is getting too cold. If something has malfunctioned, the appropriate repair person over in time before it becomes a serious issue.
Generally, the proper precautions are taken but each year we receive numerous calls regarding frozen pipes. You know the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.