By Mike Cahill
The confusion of water restoration can easily be avoided if homeowners take certain precautions and perform proper maintenance. Prevent a visit from a restoration specialist by partaking in these easy tasks.
1. Check for leaks.
Even the smallest leak in your faucets and pipes can lead to unmanageable flooding if not noticed or taken care of immediately. The resulting water damage can require substantial repair which can be quite costly. Therefore, it is important to check all exterior walls, unheated basements, garages and crawl spaces, especially those areas that lack insulation. Little to no insulation leaves pipes more vulnerable to the elements and therefore they are more likely to crack and leak.
2. Drain and insulate.
Draining and insulating all outdoor faucets and pipes in your home before the winter sets in is a must as any water that gets trapped in those pipes can freeze, expand, and then crack, break, or burst the pipes. Securing these exterior pipes can help you avoid dealing with property damages and unpleasant repairs.
3. Weatherproof trouble areas.
Doorways, windows, and vent fans should be checked to make sure their seals remain tight. If a seal is loose, it can be fixed up with caulking to avert your home plumbing from freezing. Also, make sure to repair cracked windows as they can lead to freezing temperatures coming in contact with your plumbing and will result in expensive costs.
4. Insulate exposed pipes.
The next step is to look out for areas containing exposed pipes. Instead of sealing off all airflow in your home, which can potentially lead to mold growth, you should make sure your pipes are properly insulated so that they can stand up against cold winter air. As an easy and inexpensive procedure, insulating your home is the way to go. It can be as easy as installing foam tubing or towels around your pipes and can help your water heater retain heat (and therefore lower those pricey energy bills). Vulnerable pipes near electrical sources should be insulated with electrical heating tape. Heat tape, which can be wrapped around the pipes, is a great tool for providing just enough heat to keep your pipes from freezing.
5. Keep indoor pipes warm.
Though many of the wintertime issues are due to outdoor pipes, you mustn’t forget about your indoor plumbing. Indoor pipes can also freeze in cold weather, so doing things such as opening cabinet doors to expose your pipes to your home’s heat can help prevent frozen pipe water damage. For when you plan on being away from home for an extended period of time, make sure to set your interior thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Letting your indoor faucets drip steadily when the temperature outside drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit can help prevent pipes from bursting and causing serious damages.